Pokémon Detective Pikachu Movie Review (In Detail)

Spoilers Alert:

A young man with a father complex and a Pikachu with no memory but wearing a deerstalker hat solve a tricky case. If POKEMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU We reveal in our review that we know how to inspire with this premise.

The Plot Summary

Tim (Justice Smith) leads a boring life as an insurance clerk who, unlike most of the people around him, doesn’t have a Pokémon to accompany him everywhere. When the country bumpkin learns that his father Harry has disappeared without a trace and is presumed deceased, he sets off for the futuristic metropolis of Ryme City. Tim’s father, from whom he was estranged as a child, worked there. When Tim tries to say an emotional goodbye in his father’s apartment, he meets his old man’s Pokémon partner, a fluffy Pikachu in a deerstalker hat. When it opens its mouth, Tim thinks he has lost his mind: it speaks like a human (originally with the voice of Ryan Reynolds), instead of just making noises and its name like any other Pokémon. With this cute and unexpected support, Tim embarks on a breakneck adventure to solve the tricky mystery of the whereabouts of his father, who, according to Pikachu, must still be alive. The curious journalist Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton) and her duckling could possibly give him further help…

Pokémon Detective Pikachu Explanation of the Ending

They have been a phenomenon that has been difficult to avoid for over 20 years: the Pokémon. If you haven’t already looked for them, collected them and sent them into duels on the Game Boy or the Nintendo DS, you may have already played one of the numerous spin-off games such as the cult photo safari “Pokémon Snap” on the Nintendo 64. Those who don’t like consoles may have already arrived come into contact with the Pokémon trading cards. Or the manga about the (not always) small animals. Or with the anime series, which has over 1,000 episodes. Or with the animated film series, which already has over 20 parts. Or with the tons of merchandise. Or with the mega app “Pokémon Go”, which for a few months transformed various streets around the world from quiet places into overcrowded playgrounds. Or at least with one of the various scandals and scandals surrounding Pokémon – from the anime episode that caused epilepsy to the numerous accidents in which careless “Pokémon Go” users were involved.

Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) may have lost his memory, but he knows he’s a world-class detective who wants to help his friend Tim.

One piece of the puzzle in the Pokémon mania that has so far received little pop culture attention despite respectable sales figures is the Nintendo 3DS title “Detective Pikachu,” an adventure game riddled with puzzles in which a Pikachu capable of human language and Tim, who is looking for his father Goodman solve crimes. When it was announced in April 2016 that this game, of all things, would be used as a template for the first live-action Pokémon film and Ryan “Deadpool” Reynolds was accepted for the title role, there was great amazement and guesswork: both Pokémon and film fans turned up in droves Ask if this can work. Now, about three years later, the finished film “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” allows the answer to this question. However, it isn’t all that easy. Let’s start with the basic aspect: Yes, the premise of “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” is surprisingly well suited to introducing the (mostly) cute monsters into live-action cinema: thanks to the concept that a young one stands out from the classic games and the anime series If an adult pursues a conspiracy with a Pokémon, it avoids an episodic “search for pocket monsters, collect them, let them fight” narrative, which could quickly become tiring for Pokémon novices and would have nothing new to offer fans. In addition, the search for Tim’s father allows the film to have an emotionally grounded thread that may be more accessible than most of the plots in the anime film series, but still brings with it a film-worthy urgency.

In terms of implementation, “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” also scores points with the visual design of the central setting, Ryme City: While early scenes in Tim’s rural hometown have something of the awkwardness of some fan films, Ryme City is a futuristic, pulsating metropolis that director Rob Letterman (“Goosebumps – The Movie”) and cinematographer John Mathieson (“Logan”) especially in the night scenes, captured in vital, high-contrast colors. But even in the daytime scenes, in which there are no neon lights shimmering on the street canyons, Ryme City shows itself to be a beautifully designed and filmed place in which people and Pokémon live closely together. One of the biggest draws of “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” is that it was shot on 35mm film, giving this city populated by CG characters a tactile feel; a grippy, fine-grained quality that also allows visual associations with noir crime novels.

Tim (Justice Smith), Pikachu and Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton) uncover a conspiracy.

In terms of narrative, however, the parallels to film noir are very rare, which brings us to the biggest weak point of this big-budget production: the central crime of this story is carelessly (and transparently) written. If that weren’t enough, the script by Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, Rob Letterman and Derek Connolly hardly allows his disparate team of investigators to search for clues: Tim and Pikachu run around in circles (sometimes literally) and are handed important clues on a silver platter several times – for example by the eager but underappreciated young journalist Lucy Stevens, who is making massive progress, primarily offscreen. It’s neither fun to puzzle over nor does it invite you to get excited. For a film that at times runs like a Pokémon mix of “Wrong Game with Roger Rabbit” and “Zoomania”, this is a big disappointment – ​​with a more cleverly written crime and less haphazardness in the investigation scenes, “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” would be much more exciting devices. But as unfortunate as the weak storytelling may be, it’s hard to be mad at “Pokémon Detective Pikachu.” Because Rob Letterman’s greatest directorial work to date carries out a sustained cutesy attack on its audience: the way the Pokémon were transferred into the real world is simply outstanding.

The characters retain their cartoonish features, but are given a quasi-photorealistic texture so that they remain exaggeratedly cute and yet fit seamlessly into the live film material (not least thanks to perfect compositing and shading). Bonus points for each Pokémon getting its own treatment to become “real.” To name just a few examples: Pikachu is super fluffy with thick, short fur, Bulbasaur, on the other hand, has the surface structure of a leaf covered in dew, and Pikachu is an endearingly strange one with its fine, yellow feathers, its large, squinting eyes and its chunky beak Sight. While “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” loses all grounding towards the end in terms of content, it stays on track musically throughout: Composer Henry Jackman, who has already provided musical accompaniment to “Ralph’s Enough” and “Chaos on the Net”, also strikes a convincing balance between video game nostalgia here , cool electro sounds and delicate orchestral parts. It’s often up to him to carry the emotionality of a moment, because the main actor Justice Smith hardly gets anything more than nervousness out of his role, while Kathryn Newton would have been the more charming main character as a lively, capable but also clumsy journalist, but that’s what the script says is too often pushed to the sidelines. But at least Pikachu is extremely expressive.

The scene stealer from “Detective Pikachu” is clearly the Pokémon Duck.

Conclusion: In terms of animation, “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” is formidable and makes your heart beat faster with its cuddly creatures. In terms of narrative, however, this detective story is not very engaging and allows its human main character, who emotionally carries the plot, to be pushed to the sidelines by the fluffy goings-on around her.

“Pokémon Detective Pikachu” can be seen in USA cinemas from May 9, 2019.

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