In a world where people collect Pokémon to do battle, a boy comes across an intelligent talking Pikachu who seeks to be a detective.
‘Pokémon’ has had a longevity few would have imagined when it first gained popularity outwith its native Japan in the mid 90s, and following on from the brief frenzy created by the ‘Pokémon Go’ game comes a live action film focusing on everyone’s favourite cute yellow rodent, Pikachu. This is an odd film in many respects and not a particularly good one, which is a shame as I particularly loved the animated TV series and the ‘Pokémon’ universe does have plenty of potentially fruitful avenues for good stories, but ‘Detective Pikachu’ isn’t it.
The film introduces us to a world where Pokémon live alongside humans, still often as companions but a level above a traditional pet. Our view into this world comes through Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), a 21 year old boy drawn to Ryme City after his detective father died in a mysterious accident. Discovering that his father’s Pikachu can talk (voiced by Ryan Reynolds), both of them set out to find out what really happened to him, uncovering a conspiracy in the process. On the positive side, the Pokémon are visually brought to life well and mostly look good, but the story unfortunately is very predictable and dull, and supporting characters played by the likes of Bill Nighy and Ken Watanabe are wasted.
‘Pokémon Detective Pikachu’ has enough about it to indicate future films in this world could have promise but on this occasion I felt it failed to deliver successfully on its bizarre premise, which is a shame.
Directed By: Rob Letterman
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Bill Nighy, Ken Watanabe, Chris Geere, Suki Waterhouse, Omar Chaparro, Rita Ora, Karan Soni, Josette Simon and Ikue Otani