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Pokémon: Detective Pikachu Review

I’m not going to lie. When I first heard they were making Pokémon into a live action movie my heart sank. As a lifelong Pokémon Master, I dreaded to think of what they would do to my beloved characters. Given the track record of recent live action efforts I had legitimate reasons for concern. The internet backlash of the Sonic the Hedgehog character design only heightened my skepticism and worry. Within the first few minutes of Detective Pikachu a lot of those fears were already being put to rest. The Pidgeotto’s flying in a flock over the suburban landscapes made the world feel all the more natural, just like the beginning of most Pokémon cartoon episodes. After about 15 minutes I was convinced that the creators of Detective Pikachu had done their homework and were actually trying to do this right!
The cast of live action characters were simple but relatable. They weren’t Ash or Brock but that’s not this story. The characters, although purposefully over the top, didn’t seem fake or bring down the quality of the action. It’s almost as if anyone of them could’ve stepped out of a Pokémon cartoon and into this live action world.
I was apprehensive about Ryan Reynolds voicing Pikachu. Honestly, for the first few minutes of the dialogue I expected to hear some rated R dick jokes. I guess the producers of the film had the same sentiment because Pikachu kind of towed the line with the NSFW innuendo and fell in line more with the flavor of what we would expect from the outspoken and eccentric Ryan Reynolds. The creatives didn’t go too far with the adult jokes but just far enough to get the right amount of laughs from the older kids in the audience. For those who do not know, Pikachu has never spoken aside from a random “I love you” at the end of a recent animated film in what I believe was a test to see how badly audiences would respond. The only thing Pokémon ever say is their name over and over again. Going into Detective Pikachu I didn’t understand the need to have Pikachu speak. I’m glad to say that the creatives behind Detective Pikachu found a way to make it work and make it all make perfect sense in the end…well perfect sense in a Pokémon world!
One of the biggest things about Pokémon are the Pokémon battles. You cant have a good Pokémon movie without a good Pokémon battle. In the city that Detective Pikachu takes place in, Pokémon battles have been ruled illegal. Pokémon and humans live and work side-by-side as equals not as trainer and Pokémon. Don’t fret, there is a Pokémon battle between one of the most amazing Pokémon ever, Charizard and our little hero that could, Pikachu.
One of the biggest successes with a Detective Pikachu was the character design! They didn’t stray far from the original characters most have come to love! Pikachu is a 2 foot mouse type Pokémon, so he looks like a 2 foot mouse type Pokémon, with cute fur and intricate nose wiggles that add to both the realism and the goddam cuteness! They didn’t mess with perfection and the story being told was all that much better for it! We weren’t distracted by bad design and were able to just enjoy a live action Pokémon movie!
Detective Pikachu was everything I could have asked for in a live action Pokémon movie! Fantastic effects, actual Pokémon doing Pokémon things, and a compelling entertaining Pokémon story filled with accurate Pokémon lore! I’m looking forward to the countless entertaining stories that can come out of this kind of universe. Go out and see Pokémon: Detective Pikachu!!!!