Review Pokémon Detective Pikachu by Rhys Payne

 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

When I first heard they were making a Detective Pikachu film and that Ryan Reynolds was voicing Pikachu I was unsure if this was a movie I would enjoy. But instead of the traditional optimism and joyfulness of the classic Pokémon films, this film more focused on a darker more mysterious vibe to the film. The story revolves around a boy called Tim Goodman who is voiced by Justice Smith, whose father is involved in a mysterious car crash and Tim and his new detective partner Pikachu go on a quest to find the circumstance surrounding his father’s supposed death.

Instead of classic Pokémon films which are fun-filled and enforce positive feelings, this film was dark and discussed a possible murder/loss of a loved one. This is a nice touch because it reflects the audience. It is well documented that the toy story aged ‘Andy’ to be the same age as the people who watched the original film. For example, they timed the release of the films so that when Andy was going to university the people who were old enough to watch the original film were also going to university around the same time. When the original Pokémon films were released the target audience were children and so the positivity and joyfulness would have been appropriate and the main character in this film is twenty-one (similar age to myself who was a child when the original films were released) and also it dealt with the issue of losing loved ones which is a more mature issue that would be appropriate for the older audience which was a nice touch and a detail many people wouldn’t have noticed.

This film was a nice throwback to my childhood. Being a massive fan of the Pokémon games as a child, it was nice to see some of the original Pokémon in this show. However, bar Pikachu, Mewtwo, and ditto, most of the Pokémon were almost just cameos in the opening scene to life in ryme city. Most of the Pokémon were accurate animations but I was however disappointed in the animation of Snorlax. Snorlax is supposed to be a massive creature who is but this animation was not as big or scary as I thought he would be and as he is my personal favorite Pokémon  I was a little disappointed with this. But apart from this one the rest of the Pokémon were cool to see. Especially Pikachu himself.

The Pikachu animation was so cute and created many ‘awwwwh’ moments from the audience which was only added to be the selection of Ryan Renynolds to voice the character. The character suffered from amnesia and so couldn’t remember part of the Harry’s (Tim’s father) disappearance. We learn through the film that Pikachu was Harry’s Pokémon partner but he managed to get away from the incident. The flashbacks as Pikachu remembered new details added to the drama and helped create the tension of new details. This was great for the audience as it kept them on the edge of their seats. The climax of the story, towards the end, was the highlight of the entire film. The whole film contained unexpected twists and turns and the end was both incredibly emotional and unexpected. This caused a silence from the audience as they took in everything that had happened which means that the story was executed effectively.

This is a film that managed to provide a throwback to childhood while also creating a new and new image for the Pokémon franchise films. If you were a fan of any of the Pokémon ‘strands’ eg films, game or tv show, etc. then I would recommend that you catch this film before it leaves the cinema, I would rate this film as 3 and a half stars due to the blend of shocking drama and family-friendly themes.

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