I can’t hide it–I’m a huge Pokémon fan. I used to play competitively, I own all the games, and I can name almost all 809 of the damn creatures.
So, when they showed a trailer for Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, of course I had to go. Plus, Ryan Reynolds has been on fire lately. Comedy is his calling, and he’s mastered the art of dramatic timing.
Short version: the movie is a 7/10.
Long version: there are a lot of weird plot issues, some of the acting is questionable, and besides the adorable Pikachu and Bulbasaur, the Pokémon look… disturbing.
First off, this movie is based on a video game by the same name. The plots are similar. Someone is handing out “R” (a bizarre drug) that causes Pokémon to go nuckin-futs. Turns out, the “R” drug is made from the cells of a Mewtwo–a super strong Pokémon made by attempting to clone a Mew. Tim, some kid who lost his dad, meets a wise-crackin’ Pikachu who is also a detective, and the two search for the source of “R,” as well as Tim’s dad.
Are you paying attention? There’s a quiz at the end. Take notes.
Anyway, the movie takes a hard left at this point, and ditches the remainder of the video game plot for its own story. Turns out, father of guy who owns news company is dying of an unnamed disease, and he wants to take Mewtwo’s body for his own because it’s “the strongest Pokémon ever.” (Fun fact, he’s not.) Moving on… Father has someone create a handset that can transfer his thoughts to another body, thus giving him control over Mewtwo while they both wear it.
That… doesn’t solve the father’s disease, though. He’s still a dude in a wheelchair, effectively playing with an RC car, but whatever. IT’S TIME FOR THE REASON BEHIND “R.”
In the video game, the press company released “R” to cause problems so they could report on something (the city was too peaceful without it, apparently). In the movie, the villain needs “R” so that he can use Mewtwo’s psychic powers to merge Pokémon and humans into a single Pokémon being.
You read that right.
1 human + 1 Pokémon + 1 “R” + Mewtwo’s psychic powers = 1 human inside a Pokémon
I don’t even know how that works, and I don’t think the movie does, either. It comes out of nowhere near the end, and didn’t really fit in with anything, but whatever. Look at the purple gas coming out of giant balloons and eat your popcorn, normie.
The movie then ends on a sad/hopeful note. The wise-crackin’ Pikachu was actually Tim’s father the whole time. Mewtwo merged them together when the dad was dying on the side of the road. Aww!
But… there was no “R” involved that time. Didn’t they read the formula? They need “R” to merge! Eh, whatever. No one is taking notes, so why should I?
Also, Mewtwo separates them and the dad is okay now. No longer dying. Because reasons.
Was there anything I liked? Well, I already admitted I love Pokémon. Seeing Pikachu on screen was amazing. He was super cute, and the voice acting was second to none. And when the movie wanted to get emotional, it totally did. Lots of warm fuzzies when Tim and Pikachu are getting to know each other.
The 7/10 is because the movie moves at a nice pace, there are plenty of jokes that would make anyone laugh, and some scenes are pure gold. It loses 3 points because the ending is bizarre, there really wasn’t any detective work, and the main female lead (along with her Pokémon) did not compare to the rest of the cast.
Overall, I would recommend the movie if you (1) have kids, (2) love Pokémon, even slightly, or (3) you’re a fan of Ryan Reynolds. Otherwise, I would recommend you pass.