Posted May 12, 2019 in In Theatres
Full Disclosure: Before this movie, I’d only seen Pikachu in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. As it turns out, the character is every bit as adorably adventurous in Pokémon Detective Pikachu as he appears floating down the streets of New York in balloon form.
From the very onset of the film, I knew there were going to be dozens of references and Easter eggs that would go sailing over my head, and yet despite that fact, it still had enough dialogue to entertain even the Pokémon-illiterate. (One reference this outsider appreciated, however, was the completely unexpected homage to Home Alone.)
Anyway, for those of you familiar with the franchise, the reactions of those who attended the movie in Pikachu-themed attire has me confident in saying that you won’t be disappointed.
So, moving on to the good and the bad!
First, the good: visuals and casting. The movie’s skillful mix of live action with the CG world of Pokémon felt as fluid as it gets for that dynamic. We’ve come a long way from the original Mary Poppins, and to me, this is an exemplary film for how to execute the mix of reality and animation. Justice Smith’s performance provided a firm foundation upon which to build the interactions with Pikachu, whose voicing by Ryan Reynolds proved to be spot-on for the ambitious plot and one-liners set forth by the film’s writers.
That brings us to the bad: that plot. While I understand we’re talking in terms of the world of Pokémon, a fanciful world of creatures who have powers and coexist with humans, the plot is a rollercoaster. For some films, that can be good, but in this case, it took away from an otherwise positive experience. As the movie neared its conclusion, it seemed like the writers suddenly realized they needed levity, and proceeded to write a plotline that left me unsure if the goal of its twists and turns was entertainment or motion sickness. The father-son dynamic is heavy, but not that heavy.
Overall, the movie is a solid 7/10 in my book.
By Shanna Lockwood