Pokemon:Detective Pikachu – Nostalgia gone mediocre?
Last Saturday I saw 2019’s ‘Pokemon:Detective Pikachu’, having been a fan of pokemon since I was really young I wanted to see what it had to offer in a modern day setting. Based on the trailers and the footage I had seen, I was expecting a lot of laughs and to see some awesome fight scenes with the live action pokemon. However was a combination of the fight scenes, live action Pokemon and Ryan Reynold’s voicing Pikachu enough to save the film? Continue reading to find out…..
The Pika Pika (Good)
So we will start with the cast, which includes Ryan Reynolds voicing Pikachu, Justice Smith who plays our main character Tim Goodman, and Kathryn Newton who plays Lucy Stevens, a reporter looking for a story around the mysterious goings-on in Ryme city. I really liked the cast, it was cool to hear Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu giving his usual sarcastic, witty attitude and Justice Smith was good as Tim Goodman, a-21-year old looking to solve his fathers mystery after he is shown to be killed off by Mewtwo at the beginning of the film.
So what would our characters be without our beloved pokemon by their side. So this film is the first live action pokemon film in the franchise, movies were released in the late 90s/early 2000s but they were all cartoonised and are not related to this film in the slightest. To see them for the first time as live characters running and fighting alongside our characters was really cool, from Pikachu to Charizard, Magikarp to Bulbasaur, seeing them ‘in the flesh’ meant something new was brought to the table, showing a more human side to them. The way the film was stylized meant that the film pulled of the live action Pokemon well, and they didn’t stand out from the background as they didn’t use crappy CGI.
The final positive part for me in all the film was the comedy. As previously mentioned Ryan Reynolds voices Pikachu and it really shows due to the witty/sarcastic persona that he has. One of the most memorable ‘funny moments’ from the film for me was the fight scene between Pikachu and Charizard in which Pikachu is reminded me that he had peviously beat this specific Charizard. Once Pikachu gets into the ring he becomes over confident and then when Charizard goes crazy he curls into a cute ball and is all like ‘pika pika’.
The Magikarp (The boring)
The first thing for me that brings the films overall rating down for me is the story. The story revolves around our main character,Tim Goodman, discovering his father’s death following an incident in which he was doing an investigation into Mewtwo and was seemingly killed in his pursuit. The film then continues to Tim discovering his fathers old pokemon partner,Pikachu, and then them continuing as pair to look into Tim’s fathers death.
Though the story is heartfelt and provides character development, to me it was stale and I would have personally preferred a story based around Ash and his Pikachu like the films from the 90s but instead we got what feels like another generic storyline. Though this not really a fault in the film as the story is what it is, I feel like they could have come up with somebody better, especially given the franchises past and how much of an impact Pokemon had on 80s and 90s kids.
I’m sorry but it has to be said that it just didn’t feel like the film that we deserved. I know at the end of the day that this film is aimed at the younger generation and the fact that it doesn’t link back to the originals doesn’t mean anything to them but still. I went into it expceting to be reminded of my childhood and have a nice nostalgic feeling, which I felt like I got from 2017’s Power Rangers reboot but there was nothing.
I can’t emphasise enough that this film is for kids and anybody from the 80s/90s era will enjoy seeing one of their childhood characters on the big screen again but it won’t be enough to keep them interested.
My Overall Feelings
To me, this film was okay and nothing more,nothing less. I have stated further up it was good to see our childhood character back on the big screen in a live action form but that alone wasn’t enough to make it worthwhile for a grown up audience. If you have children of your own, or have a younger relative that you want to introduce to the Pokemon franchise then this might be a nice little introduction, however for anybody old enough to remember the originals it isn’t that great and will just leave you feeling empty.
Based on my overall feelings towards the film, I would give it a 5/10. Please note that this was considered generous by my friends, who gave it a 1/10 and 2-3/10 so there is some perspective.