Title: Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)
Directed by: Rob Letterman
Screenplay by: Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, Rob Letterman, Derek Connolly
Story by: Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, Rob Letterman, Derek Connolly
Based on: Detective Pikachu by The Pokémon Company and Creatures, Inc.
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Suki Waterhouse, Omar Chaparro, Chris Geere, Ken Watanabe, Bill Nighy, and Rita Ora
Music by: Henry Jackman
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Running Time: 104 minutes
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for action/peril, some rude and suggestive humour, and thematic elements
Production Companies: Legendary Pictures, The Pokémon Company
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures (Worldwide), Toho (Japan)
Ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son, Tim, to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth Detective Pikachu. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to work together, as Tim is the only human who can talk with Pikachu, they join forces to unravel the tangled mystery.
First of all, Happy New Year! I know I have not been writing this blog as much as I used to, but I am trying my best to do it. Life just happens. I know I have no excuse and have been saying this for quite sometimes now, but I really am trying to write more this year. You might read some of the late film posts, which I am trying to finish them all up this year. *fingers crossed*. Anyway, let’s get back to the film.
I have watched Pokémon my whole childhood. So imagine my excitement to see Pikachu as live-action. The first time I saw the trailer, I knew I was going to love it. I mean, the live-action Pikachu looks so dang cute. From the trailer, I also knew that this film is going to be funny. Plus, Ryan Reynolds voiced Pikachu thus making everything seems absurd, ridiculous, and funny altogether. Seriously. It’s like hearing Deadpool became Pikachu. It’s kind of absurd yet somehow still worked out in a funny way. Ryan Reynolds’ witty made Pikachu sounds cuter.
I heard that Detective Pikachu is based on a game. Unfortunately, I do not play the game either, nor do I know anything about the game. Therefore, I cannot do a comparison between the game and the film. However, as a long time fan of Pokémon—or to be exact Pikachu, I can do comparison between the anime and the live-action. And seriously, I am very glad they made a live-action Pikachu because he looks so dang cute. I would love to have one.
Normally I will go with the acting of the actors and actresses or the story, but now, I will jump into the CGI effect first. Of course, Pokémon is not real. It’s a cartoon. An anime that has been with me since I can remember. Therefore, to be in a live-action, the Pokémon must be visualised by CGI effect, in which I don’t mind because I have seen the trailers and I know the CGI would be perfect. I was right. The Pokémon look so damn cute, and especially Pikachu. He looks so fluffy and cute. Seriously, if I can have a Pokémon, I would choose Pikachu over and over again. I know there are many other cute Pokémon and more powerful one, but to me, Pikachu is the combination and both and I would love to have it. Besides, in the anime, the Pikachu was very much powerful enough.
I seriously think the animators have done a really great job in creating the Pokémon. Not every film can have such great animators that can pull of anime characters to live-action. The facial expression, the movement, everything looks very on point. I think the audiences are happy about it. I don’t mind having the sequel to the film, as long as the story is great. I don’t play the video games, but I do watch the anime. I am pretty sure the Mewtwo story is not like that. Well, not entirely like that. Nonetheless, this film is based on the video games rather than the anime, though only just a loose adaption.
Now let’s talk about the actors. Ryan Reynolds voice the character of Pikachu, which sounded weird at first when I saw the trailers. It’s not that I am saying he didn’t fit to voice Pikachu, it’s just Pikachu is so cute and Ryan Reynolds is more of hot than cute. Plus, he played Deadpool, a very quite the opposite of cute character, which makes everything sounds weirder and ridiculous but somehow funny. I was hoping more of a cute voice. I don’t know who’s in mind but not Ryan Reynolds for sure. However, after a while, I really don’t mind hearing Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu. He has that sense of humour that made Pikachu funnier and laughable and somewhat cute. Now I cannot imagine anyone else voiced the character of Pikachu.
Pikachu: Should I talk about the fact that your childhood bed is a Pikachu bed?
Tim Goodman: It’s a coincidence.
Pikachu: I’ve never been so flattered and creeped out at the same time.
I have seen Justice Smith in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018). Again, I don’t play the 2016 video games, hence I don’t really know what to expect with the human character. As far as I’m concerned, the anime is quite different. The owner of Pikachu is different. Thus, I have never imagined Justice Smith to play the partner part. I must say, he is doing a great job in portraying the character. The way he interacted with Pikachu looked real and funny. He looked silly, funny, and has explored the character quite well, I must say.
Alongside Justice Smith, there was also Kathryn Newton who played the character of Lucy Stevens, a junior character who owned a Psyduck. Now, this Psyduck is amazingly looked similar with the anime Psyduck, as all Pokémon in this film are. Psyduck is one of my favourite Pokémon because he is pretty dumb but powerful. In this film, Psyduck still has the feature. His face looks ridiculous, even his behaviour too. Still, he is a pretty powerful Pokémon. It’s funny to see the interaction between Pikachu and Psyduck in the film, especially when Pikachu sounds like Ryan Reynolds and Psyduck sounds like Psyduck. It’s a bit nostalgic to hear all the Pokémon used the original voice—or more of a way of speaking. I think Kathryn Newton did quite a good job in portraying her character. Her character looked very quirky but in a different way of Justice Smith’s character, Tim Goodman. I am not really a fan of her character but her character did make a good addition.
“Maybe she can tell us about the long-term psychological effects of being strapped to a baby seat… next to a bomb!” – Pikachu
Detective Pikachu is a really somewhat a dream come true to all Pokémon if I dare to say. The filmmakers managed to fulfil a great vision of a world populated by Pokémon. However, they did not make the Pokémon as the main stars. The main focus is the characters’ journey rather than the journey of trainers and Pokémon in winning the battles or such. Pokémon are not just adorable weapons. At least not in this Detective Pikachu film. The film has its own moral lesson about family and humanity. Thus the film became more relatable to the audience.
All in all, Detective Pikachu is a very good family film. Not only it will entertain Pokémon fans, but non Pokémon fan also will love this film. It’s just adorable and at some point got its own moral story. The story is not so heavy, therefore very suitable for everyone to watch, from adults to children. There are some funny moments, but there are also some sad moments. Every detail of the Pokémon is great and on point. It is so accurate to the point that we believe Pokémon do exist. Great job to the filmmakers. I surely love Detective Pikachu and cannot wait for its sequel.
I give Detective Pikachu 9 out of 10 stars.