Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)

Dogs, cats and even budgies are pretty cool. Honestly, most pets are … unless you’re *that* person who’s into Giant African Snails. But who wouldn’t trade their pet, in a heartbeat, for a motherfucking Pikachu or a Snorlax? Also, Alakazam is the best Pokémon and I’ll fire punch anyone who wants to disagree. Most of the time, video game movies get a bad rap. And that’s because they’re usually hotter shit than a turd in the desert. Will ‘Pokémon Detective Pikachu’ follow suit or thunderbolt it’s way to the top of good video game movies?

This film kicks off with loner, Tim (Justice Smith), being called to Ryme City after the apparent death of his father, Harry. After being there for less than a day, Tim is berated by Lucy (Kathryn Newton), an unpaid intern with aspirations of being a top journalist, as she suggests that Harry may have been involved in some deep shit. Shortly after, he meets Detective Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds), and the pair have a conversation that consists of more than “Pika Pika”, which is new for both of them. These two can understand each other and that’s what we call ‘fate’, bitches. Det. Pikachu suggest that Harry’s death might actually be more of a disappearance but his amnesia prevents him from shedding more information on his former partner. And a film with a mystery cannot exist if the plot isn’t all about getting to the bottom of it … and that’s what happens. If clues were Pokémon, Tim wants to catch ‘em all. This pair, along with Sarah and her Psyduck, venture through the seedy underbelly of Ryme City and its seedier ruling class. In a journey that involves God-type Pokémon, some purple rage gas and a small Costa’s-worth of coffee, will Tim find out what happened to his dad, or will they be dealt a critical hit and lose all of their health points in a world of pocket monster battles that would 100% be PETA’s worst nightmare?

Straight off the bat, the visuals are THE BEST thing about this film. All the of visual effects teams that worked on this flick are the real MVPs. Like who hasn’t wondered what Pokémon would look like in real life? Like look how motherfucking adorable this Psyduck is:

Pokémon Detective Pikachu, 2019. © Warner Bros

I need a Psyduck! Not only do the Pokémon look fantastic but their fighting moves are great in live-action. These Pokémon feel like they can actually do all the damage their playing card counterparts say they can. The live-action Poké-battle in this film was every Poké-fan’s wettest dream. These great visuals extend past the Pokémon because man isn’t Japan the place to be? I know it doesn’t take place in Japan but Ryme City is basically Tokyo and the cinematography has some neon techno realness and it’s a total vibe.

A film needs more than good visuals, otherwise it’s nothing more than a gold-plated poop. And the cast do a good enough job of carrying the load when needed. Ryan Reynolds does Ryan Reynolds things and you can’t really ask for much more than that. Who doesn’t love Ken Wantanabe? Exactly! Bill Nighy is probably the most obvious bad guy ever but he does it adequately. And Justice Smith and Kathryn Newton are good during their time in the spotlight as well. no one will win any awards for their performances but they do the job. Whilst we’re talking about the cast, Tim and Pikachu are goals af. The on-screen relationships seem authentic and the characters are actually likable. A videogame movie with relatable characters, good development arcs and genuine relationships? Never heard of such a thing!

As a whole, the film is decent. It’s a pretty simple plot, like no one was ever in doubt that everything wouldn’t be all good by the time the credits rolled. That being said, it can have you blubbering more than yo mumma when she realises you’re 30-something and STILL live with her. They packed this movie with emotion, action, humour that’s actually funny. It’s a light-hearted adventure through the Pokémon universe, tell me what part of that sounds bad. I know I already raved about it but I need to reiterate just how good the Pokémon look here, and don’t think I didn’t notice the retro styled credits scene that sent everyone’s Poké-gasms into overdrive. It’s a well-written, strong showing of how a real-life Pokémon movie would look but it needed a fuck-tonne more battles. The taste of electro music crossed with cataclysmic Poké-chaos is now something I realise I need IV-dripped straight into my veins. I want to watch my boi Alakazam Hyper Beam a Snorlax’s fat lazy ass in any and all subsequent instalments into the series.

If you want to see some adorable animal things in a place way cooler than where you live … and you’ve already watched ‘My Little Pony’ a hundred times, then this has to be the next film on your list. Though it doesn’t quite feel like a Pokémon game come to life, it’s very close. It’s a great example of a video game film but then again, any film with Mewtwo being a bad bitch would be good anyway. I personally think it’s 6.6 on IMDb is harsh, but there’s definitely room for a film like this to grow into a total ‘Lord of the Rings’-scale Pokémon adventure … or maybe even a crossover? Imagine a Sudowoodo fighting an Ent. If you have no idea what that meant, then you’re not nearly nerdy enough for this.

Verdict:

73 Jellies out of 100 (There’s nothing in my jellies!)

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