“Sheer Magnificence!” Pokémon: Detective Pikachu Movie Review

Sheer Magnificence, My Review of Pokémon: Detective Pikachu

 

I’m going to keep this fairly short and spoiler free as I know there are still a lot of people who have yet to see the movie.

Last night I got to see Detective Pikachu with my friends DJ Zeno and Ivan. Zeno just loves anything cute, and Ivan was really into the humor of the trailers, and me, well I’m pretty much a sucker for all things Pokémon. I knew I had to see Detective Pikachu from the first trailer. And I’m so glad I saw it in IMAX 3D at my local AMC Theater. The only words I could possibly use to describe the movie as a whole are “Sheer Magnificence”. It was an absolute visual treat that truly immerses one into the world of the Detective Pikachu.

Detective Pikachu has something for everyone to enjoy, not just the new or long time fans of the franchise. The story has a lot heart, it’s wonderfully written, and beautifully acted. This is indeed one of Ryan Reynolds’ best performances. The love, respect, and attention to detail that Rob Letterman, Dan “The Cuban Missile Himself” Hernandez, and Benji Samit paid to the source material is just astonishing and incredibly appreciated. The story of Detective Pikachu takes place twenty years after Pokémon The First Movie, and feels like a natural continuation of the story. The film itself feels like it fits perfectly into the world we’ve gotten to know over the past twenty four years of the entire franchise. I hope that they continue making movies like this.

So much happens within the short runtime of the movie, that even the most minor detail can be a potential spoiler. So again, I’m going to keep this review fairly short. I’ve already stated that it’s an absolute visual treat, how the creators made this feel like an organic part of the world of Pokémon, but the modeling and animation of all the Pokémon, not just Pikachu, is spectacular. They look and act like they’re suppose to, while not looking out of place when being interacted with by the human actors. And when it comes to Pikachu. I don’t know if they used facial tracking and mapping to make Pikachu as expressive as they did, but whatever they did, and however they did it, it was magic. He not only steals the show, but your hearts as well, all while still being just incredibly adorable

Justice Elio Smith, who I only know from Paper Towns, gave an incredible performance. Side note, yes his best friend is played by Karan Soni, who was Dopinder in Deadpool, but he does not interact with Pikachu, which I feel was a bit of a missed opportunity, but I digress. Smith is just as expressive and emotive as the Pokémon around him, which I think is very fitting. His performance really makes you relate to and sympathize with his character.

Bill Nighy and Chris Geere play father and son Howard and Roger Clifford. Both gave absolutely brilliant performances and are pretty integral to the plot of Detective Pikachu so I can’t really say much else.

Kathryn Newton… what can I say? She is absolutely lovely and captivating as Lucy Steven. She made every scene she was in HER scene, but without really trying. Kathryn gave another outstanding performance.

Detective Pikachu has an all star cast, you just won’t see them all at first glance. They even brought in a certain voice actress from Pokémon The First Movie to reprise her role.

There were a LOT of Pokémon in this movie. Some will be easy to see, some will be off in the distance, or just at the corner of your eye. There are a lot of call backs to the series and movies. There are also a ton of ‘Easter eggs’. You’ll see some of the characters dressed as playable characters from the games, characters from the show, as well as gym leaders.

And of course, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu is a detective movie, so there are mysteries to solve, clues to follow, and if you’re good at reading subtext, you’ll be able to figure them out. Plus, the plot of the movie just as quickly as our leads. Personally, I was so wrapped up in the movie, I just went along for the ride.

My friends and I, along with the rest of the viewing audience greatly enjoyed Detective Pikachu. As a matter of fact, Alita: Battle Angel and Pokémon: Detective Pikachu are my two favorite movies so far this year. As I go to watch John Wick Chapter 3 Parabellum tonight, I hope to add a third. John Wick Chapter 3 will be my next movie review, so stayed tuned for that as well as this week’s installment of Indie Comics Showcase coming up shortly!

Bottom line: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu is a great family film!

Addendum:

I feel as if this is the Who Framed Roger Rabbit of CG Films.

There are parts of Detective Pikachu that remind me of Zootopia, which is my favorite Disney Movie.

I’ve not played the Detective Pikachu Game, but I kind of want to now.

I’m so glad that Danny DeVito did not voice Detective Pikachu. Because there were so many people who wanted him to voice the character, the studio did bring him in for a tests, but they decided that his voice did not fit the character and ultimately went with Ryan Reynolds.

There’s a lot of great chemistry between the entire cast. You can tell this film must have been an incredible amount of fun to work on.

Watch for the “Mister Mime” scene. It was beautiful as well as a little bit messed up.

This is video below is amazing!

John Lemus

I'm a 35 year-old Cuban who works in Hialeah, FL. I'm really into comic books and comic book culture and I have a particular fondness for independent comics. Which is why I started the Indie Comics Showcase. Follow me on Twitter @indie_comics!