Highs & Lows

The Highs & Lows of ‘Pokemon Detective Pikachu’

Pokemon has been around since 1996 and has become an international phenomenon. It has spun video games, tv shows, card games, apparel, animated movie, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. But one thing that they have yet to do in the 23 years that they have been around is a live action movie…..until now. Pokemon Detective Pikachu stars Ryan Reynolds as a talking Pikachu who teams up with Justice Smith’s character Tim Goodman, to find his missing father. While it may not be the Pokemon movie that we always wanted and thought we were going to get, it would have been a huge risk for them to start off the Pokemon live action universe with the story of Ash Ketchum. So let’s dive into what we thought of Pokemon Detective Pikachu. As always this is a SPOILERS article!

High: The Live Action Pokemon

Pokemon Detective Pikachu

One thing that a lot of us original Pokemon fans were looking forward to, was the fact that this was going to be the first time we would see Pokemon in a live action form. As much as it sucks, we are never going to get real Pokemon, so this is probably the closest thing that we are going to get to see a live Pokemon. When the trailers first came out a lot of us were torn on whether or not the Pokemon looked good. Some of them looked really creepy, while others looked exactly how you would expect. Thankfully it seems that the CGI for the movie was touched up and perfected a little bit.

While I’m sure some people didn’t like certain looks of the Pokemon, unfortunately not every single one is going to be perfect. The movie seemed to take a more realistic approach when it came to the Pokemon. You could see it in Pokemon like Charizard who had scales on his skin to represent him being a lizard. Or Psyduck who is a duck Pokemon had the water resistant type feathery skin that a duck would have. Overall they turned out much better than we originally hoped and the best part was they did not lack in the amount of Pokemon that they showcased in the movie.

Low: Forced Humor

Pokemon Detective Pikachu

One thing you know when you’re getting a Ryan Reynolds movie is the comedy is going to be hit or miss. While it’s not his fault because he isn’t the one writing the script, unfortunately it ultimately comes down to him. In the movie we assume that Tim was exposed to the R gas and afterwards, that is what makes him capable of understanding his fathers Pikachu, voiced by Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds did the best with what he had, but unfortunately the humor just didn’t translate very well. While funny at times, it just kind of left you rolling your eyes whenever he would say something.

Later on we find out that the Pikachu that has been talking to Tim the whole movie, is in fact his father who IS Ryan Reynolds and instead of a talking Pikachu, his father’s conscious was transported into the Pikachu by Mewtwo. The problem was just that it kind of was a mess and was just not genuinely funny. The funniest part came from probably the Mr. Mime scene which only lasted a couple minutes, but everything else was just ok.

High & Low: The Twists

Justice Smith Bill Nighy Pokemon Detective Pikachu

This one we had mixed feelings about. The twists in the movie were unexpected for the most part, the problem was that some of the twists weren’t that good. We already talked about the Ryan Reynolds twist with Pikachu, that was a good movie twist, but the whole Mewtwo transferring human consciousness into Pokemon was dumb. There were subtle twists that were really enjoyable in the movie, one of them being the Ditto twist. It was something that almost should have been a duh, but at the same time were unsure if Ditto can transform into humans.

Another twist was that the old man in the wheelchair Howard Clifford, ended up being the true bad guy of the movie, instead of his son. The twist was mildly surprising but easily figured out. Overall it was cool to kind of get surprised if you didn’t see it coming, but they are pretty easy to figure out.

Low: Mewtwo

Pokemon Detective Pikachu

Those that have played the Detective Pikachu video game have stated that the movie sticks pretty close to the source material that comes from the game. Unfortunately for those of us that didn’t play the game, it left a lot of us kind of scratching our heads. I have grown up playing pretty much every Pokemon game but this one. I knew that Mewtwo is pretty much one of the most powerful Pokemon of all time, but again for this game I didn’t know the story. However what we got on the big screen was nothing like I expected.

I expected Mewtwo to be the big character in the movie, however I didn’t buy the fact that he was going to be the big bad because it would be to similar to the first animated movie. Also the fact that he was shown in the trailers leads us to believe he wasn’t going to be a huge surprise. What we got was just weird and not what I expected. We know that Mewtwo was created from Mew, but what was really stupid was the powers that they gave him to transfer human consciousness into Pokemon.

Again I didn’t play the video game but it was disappointing for someone to think that this Pokemon movie was going to be one thing, but instead turn it into something different. Mewtwo ultimately was a good guy trying to help Ryan Reynolds character as well as the Pikachu to nobody’s surprise. It just didn’t work very well and left us disappointed.

Low: Give Us What We Want!!

Pokemon Detective Pikachu

A lot of people have been waiting a very very very long time to see a live action Pokemon movie and were so excited to see it finally happen. Unfortunately when we heard that the movie was instead going to be Detective Pikachu instead of the story of Ash Ketchum, it kind of deflated a lot of the excitement. While the movie seems to make it sound like the events of Ash Ketchum have actually happened in the past, we are still left unsure. Instead it has us asking one thing, why aren’t they giving us what we want!

One of the most disappointing things about the movie was that basically all the things that us fans that have been around since the beginning wanted, we didn’t get. We didn’t get to see a Pokemon battle except for the quick one between Blastoise and Gengar, which was barely even a battle. The other thing that seems interesting is that it kind of seems that each trainer only has one Pokemon. While I’m sure they can have more they kind of pounded in the idea of a “Pokemon Partner.”

The next disappointing thing was that we didn’t really get any catching of Pokemon. The movie does open up with Tim attempting to catch a Cubone, but after that it was never seen again. The whole point of Pokemon is trying to catch them all. So for the movie to only show about 5 minutes of catching it was really a bummer. However the Pokeballs look absolutely FANTASTIC and makes me wish even more that they were really.


The movie is entertaining but in the end left us disappointed. It kind of feels like you got finally got a live action Pokemon movie, but at the same time you didn’t. We got the story of Detective Pikachu and it sounds like it sticks pretty close to the video game. However we all are left still wanting what we have always wanted. A Pokemon movie that is like the video games. Whether or not they ever do that on the big screen is a big question. After seeing this movie, I have a hard time thinking they will.

They made the Pokemon in the movie very cute for kids, as well as trying to NOT show the Pokemon getting hurt or fighting during battle. A prime example of that is the Blastoise vs. Gengar fight when Blastoise just up and loses the battle. I think that there may be a fear of how that would translate onto the big screen seeing Pokemon fight and hurt each other and how it would translate for kids. You can get away with it in animation, but I don’t think that it will work for parents in live action.

So what do you think? Did you like Pokemon Detective Pikachu? Do you agree with what we said, or were we a little to rough on the movie? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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