For longtime fans, ‘Pokemon Detective Pikachu’ pleases

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows the character Detective Pikachu, voiced by Ryan Reynolds, in a scene from "Pokemon Detective Pikachu." (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

The long-running failures of video-game adaptation films comes to an end thanks to the emergence of the odd paring of a little yellow Pokemon with the voice of Ryan Reynolds. “Pokemon Detective Pikachu” will certainly please long-time fans of the source material; the same cannot be said for others.

After the news claims his father to be dead, once-Pokemon-lover Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) finds himself in a predicament when he meets his father’s partner Pokemon, Detective Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds). Specifically, Tim can understand Pikachu, an ability no one else possess. When Detective Pikachu suggests his father is still alive, the two begin a search for the truth, soon learning that there is a lot more to the case once they dig a little deeper.

I have been a fan of Pokemon for as long as I can remember; as a child, I collected cards, watched the show and played the video games. When I heard that a live-action film was being made, I was ecstatic to say the least.

The general consensus of Pokemon fans could say the same. Prior to the film, those who were already invested into the world had a pre-established love for it. In other words, if you are familiar with Pokemon you’ll certainly like this movie. Seeing all of the familiar faces felt rewarding, as it was the ticket to understand many of the jokes and references. There is still plenty to go around for those newly introduced to Pokemon, however. The pulsating world of Pokemon showcases its impressive animation in both its urban and rural environments. Each Pokemon’s appearance is as appealing as their individual personalities. The film makes sure to show a distinct difference between each species, letting the audience love each one for their own reason.

There are many reasons to love one Pokemon in particular: Detective Pikachu. All of those being Ryan Reynolds. The sarcastically recognizable voice-acting done by Reynolds helps him stand tall even though he is only a foot tall in the film. Although Smith has little on his resume, he does a fine job. The rest of the cast is what you would expect in a typical children’s movie: nothing special.

Aside from the few emotional moments the script accomplishes thanks to an effective bait and switch, the writing was weak. Many times, the film moves from point A to point B in a such an obvious manner that it becomes repetitious. The addition of lazy writing makes the protagonists’ journey laughably convenient; that, and instances of amateur editing. That still doesn’t mean the story was boring. Looking at the bigger picture, I was content with the simple plot. Just don’t look any deeper.

Pokemon fans should be thankful. This will not be added to the long list of disappointing video game films. For those who don’t know a Charmander from a Bulbasaur though, the film may not please as easily. Regardless, you’ll still enjoy “Pokemon Detective Pikachu.” It may not be a film to remember, but it is a start.


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