By Nolan P. Smith
Pokemon is easily one of the biggest, most famous and longest running franchises in the entertainment industry. From the groundbreaking Game Boy games to the viral Pokemon Go mobile game, the pocket monster craze is as strong as ever. Perfect time for the first live action film, and who better to star than the most popular Pokemon: Pikachu.
Detective Pikachu takes a beloved, sweet character like Pikachu and turns him on this head with the voice talents of Ryan Reynolds. Known more for his sarcasm and rated-r humor, Reynolds is the voice of the amnesiac Pikachu. The story focuses on Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), a young man who learns that his police officer father was killed in a crash. But not all is what it seems, and when Tim gets to Ryme City to collect his dad’s belongings, he meets his father’s Pokemon partner, Detective Pikachu, and only Tim can understand what the pokemon is saying. The two go on a collision course to find the truth: about Tim’s father, about Pikachu’s memories, and eventually, how to save the city.
The humor here is rated-PG Ryan Reynolds style humor, which works very well here. Reynolds nails the part of the caring partner Pikachu and makes for some wonderful moments. Justice Smith does a great job as well, being the human balance to Pikachu and the voice of doubt and belief: doubt in his father, in Pokemon, and in his abandoned dreams.
This is an enjoyable movie. Seeing CGI pokemon meshed with the real world is a treat for the eyes. The story has some decent twists, and the acting can be a little overdone, but this is a fun movie. Growing up, my brother was the biggest Pokemon fan: he had the cards, he played the games, he loved it. To see so many people’s childhoods rolled into this fun for all film is a great experience. I love the movie for what it is, which is an excellent time at the theater. Let’s hope the Pokemon live-action films continue.
Rating: 8.0 out of 10.