He is a Pokémon who can communicate with a human; he is the human who can listen to his estranged father’s partner. Together, in Pokémon Detective Pikachu, they solve the murder of that same father, a mystery that in the words of the Pokémon is, ‘very very mysterious.’ It is one of the few very entertaining live-action films based on a video game from the 90s that has been grafted like a feature film, has a plot that involves saving the world and gives us Ryan Reynolds in the form of a Pokémon. Interesting, isn’t it?
The family-friendly adventure does deviate from the path of its animated series and that too for the better. Instead of ‘wanting to become the world’s greatest Pokémon trainer, Tim (Justice Smith) is a former Pokémon trainer turned insurance agent who wants to investigate his father’s death and find out the reason why he was killed in a horrific car crash. His only lead is the amnesiac, coffee-guzzling, chubby rodent Detective Pikachu (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) who somehow escaped the car crash. The two find an unusual ally in the form of Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton), a wannabe reporter who knows there is something fishy behind the murder of Tim’s father.
What makes the film a worth-your-while flick is the fact that it has the twists and turns of a regular Hollywood movie where you are given all the facts and have to use your gray cells to find out what might have happened in the story. For the youngsters, it might be a new experience considering they have grown up on Superhero flicks so when once in a while come a movie that is wrapped in a mystery, it’s something you shouldn’t miss.
So don’t be afraid of going to Pokémon-friendly Ryme City with Tim who is convinced that his estranged father’s death was suspicious and he wants to get to the bottom of it, with or without the police’s help. As for the performances, it is the second time Ryan Reynolds plays a character that is anything but him. If Deadpool was for the adults, Detective Pikachu is for the young as they would love his one-liners, his snarky sarcasm and above all, his ability to spin a new theory at the drop of the hat, or the cap in this film’s case.
His reluctant on-screen partner Justice Smith does a good job as he neither wants to lose the Pokémon, nor go empty-handed and that’s what keeps the film moving forward. Kathryn Newton has the spark which she shows by playing a wannabe investigative journalist, which looks irritating at the start but makes you like her by the time the characters discover the deep danger they are in.
And then there are the many Pokémon’s that take you down the memory lane. You will find fat Pokémons, stupid Pokémons, crawling Pokémons, flying Pokémons and even lazy ones in Ryme City where all the action takes place. Add a philanthropic businessman, his misdirected son and some bad guys who want to take over the world and you get a movie that keeps you engrossed from start till finish.
Director Rob Letterman must be commended for keeping the identity of Tim’s father mysterious till the very end and when it is revealed, it makes you feel happy and surprised at the same time. The film is something you shouldn’t miss as it takes you back into the days of the Pokémon animated series and video games by honoring the brand in the best possible way. Watch it or you will regret it!