Posts Tagged ‘Detective Pikachu’

Review: Detective Pikachu (2019)

May 14, 2019

Where to start? For my first review in years, it’s appropriate that the movie I’m reviewing is one that takes me all the way back to my first memories at the movies, when I was 7 seeing Pokemon: The First Movie on the big screen. I’m going to come right out and say it, I love Detective Pikachu, directed by Rob Letterman, and I think I’m ready to call it my favorite film for all of 2019. Don’t misunderstand, though, one can love something that isn’t objectively great — for example, Detective Pikachu.

I really want to end this review on a high note, so I’m going to get the bad stuff out of the way first; Ryan Reynolds carried this movie by himself, virtually every other actor among the main cast phoned it in. It’s not that these actors are bad actors — they’re not — they just universally seemed disinterested in their roles. In addition, the plot wasn’t really smart or clever. Detective Pikachu talks a lot about feelings, but no one’s going to be crying from this movie, unlike the waterworks that Pokemon: The First Movie inspired.

And that’s really all the bad stuff. And while that may seem like some really bad stuff, the movie knocked it out of the park in every other area, to the point where my above criticisms are minor at best.

The team behind the design of the Pokemon nailed it. If you were to talk to me when I was 7, this is how I would’ve imagined Pokemon on real life. Maybe not down to the detail, but everything generally about how the Pokemon look and act, and how they fit into our world. It’s clear that they spent a significant amount of time (and probably a significant amount of resources) translating those cartoons into something that looks real and believable to anyone who grew up with Pokemon. It’s really impressive.

Ryan Reynolds really deserves a lot of credit; I mentioned above that he carried this movie by himself, but it’s more accurate to say that he saved the movie. His performance as the Detective Pikachu is fantastic, it’s funny, it’s hyper, it’s sweet, it’s everything you would expect and want out of Ryan Reynolds. And in this case, it’s clear that he was having a lot of fun, which goes a long way towards helping the audience have a lot of fun.

I’ve mentioned Pokemon: The First Movie a couple times now, and Detective Pikachu actually references events from that movie. Detective Pikachu and Pokemon: The First Movie are canon with each other! That’s crazy and awesome and makes me love the movie so much more.

I don’t believe that movies have to be objectively great to be praised. Sometimes getting psyched to see characters you’ve loved for more than two decades visualized in a realistic and entertaining way is enough. There’s a lot of value in things that can take you back to moments of your past that you treasure. It’s an experience that, in my view, is more inspiring than an Oscar-worthy performance.

There’s a lot of millennials out there who, like me, have fond childhood memories of Pokemon. If you’re one of those, I don’t think it’s a question — YES you should see Detective Pikachu! If you’re not one of those millennials, I’d bet you’ll still find yourself entertained, but perhaps not with the glee that I have.

Detective Pikachu is in theatres now, go check it out!

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