Live-Action Childhood Dream

Name: Pokémon – Detective Pikachu
Genre: Action, Family, Comedy
Year: 2019

Have you ever wanted a real life Pokémon? I know I have. Well this film transports us to a world where they are real, living side by side with humans. Though this film is harder to rate. The audience rating is probably going to range on enjoyment level depending how much you invested in the games throughout the years. 

The film itself comes across as a playful fun film, poking holes in a world that to be honest is a bit weird and silly. A world where it is alright to trap a wild ‘animal’ in a very small space to eventually release them, to battle one another, until one faints? Yep. Weird. Going into this film is a big challenge for the franchise, with so many different generations being fans of the Poké-verse, but somehow it has come out as some fun entertaining tribute to the much beloved audience. 

The film follows Tim (Justice Smith), a former aspiring Pokémon Trainer, who gets told that his father has been killed in a serious car accident. Tim goes to his father’s apartment to look through his stuff, to find a talking Pikachu, voiced by Ryan Reynolds, and an unpaid intern looking for the next big story, Lucy (Kathryn Newton). They both convince Tim that his father’s death was suspicious and must be more to it. They team up and investigate it further.

Pokémon – Detective Pikachu’s casting was great. We have the humour of deadpool, minus the mature and crude language, being genuinely funny with a lot of one-liners as our new favourite detective. The chemistry and connection between all three characters drives the film, giving the audience a team to root for.

The search for Tim’s father starts in Ryme City, a place where Pokémon aren’t captive, but live alongside humans, living full lives and careers. But with all the fun and love for Pokémon in this film, the storyline was a bit tricky and messy, with only really giving us a few late surprises. The pace of the film is pretty manic, giving us little time to appreciate the characters and their journeys. 

Though the child portion of the audience won’t even notice this set back, the older audience surely will. If you go and watch this film but don’t know the difference between a Squirtle and Charmander, then go back home. This isn’t the film for you. This films storyline isn’t strong enough to enjoy, if you haven’t indulged yourself within the Poké-verse. For the fans, there’s something special about seeing the Pokémon you’ve grown up with in a live action film on the big screen. 

With all previous Pokémon films being animated this was a big step for the franchise. The film may not have been the best, most tension gripping film of all time – but it was lovingly created to please the fans of this long loved franchise, opening the doors to many more possibilities in the future.

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