Detective Pikachu Review

Ratings: 1 Star: Get me outta here! I hate this movie! 2 Stars: A decent movie bogged down by some issues. 3 Stars: A good movie that is close to great. 4 Stars: A real winner! A wonderful movie that needs to be seen. Video game movies do not have a good track record when it comes to movies based on them. From Super Mario Bros to Mortal Kombat, video game movies have been examples of how NOT to do movies based on popular intellectual properties. Can Detective Pikachu break the curse? Let’s find out. Characters The characters are getting mixed reactions and I don’t understand that. Tim is a very relatable character who struggles with his confidence and the effects of his father not being in his life. Lucy is the plucky reporter in training who helps Tim along the way and of course Detective Pikachu himself who steals every scene he is in! Detective Pikachu is one of the best characters I have seen on screen in a long time. Ryan Renolds is gold! His comedic timing and light touches do miracles in bringing Pikachu to life. It shows what a wonderful actor he is. I do think the villains could have used some fleshing out, but they do their job to help drive the story along. Justice Smith does a great job of showing the insecurities and vulnerabilities of a young person trying to find their way. Lucy could’ve used more screen time, she’s cute and energetic, but she doesn’t have enough screen time to develop her character. Hopefully, a sequel will help flesh her out. There are some good characters in the movie, but Tim and Pikachu are the standouts. Story The story is getting some criticism for being too predictable, but some of the criticism isn’t good. I won’t give too much away, but it does have a standard hero story. There isn’t a lot of big surprises, but did Endgame have any twists or original story? Not many movies have original stories anymore, so I judge if the story works in the context of the movie. Does the story work? Yes, this is a simple introduction that helps establish what this world is and why we should care. It has a human story that anyone can understand and the story makes sense. We do know that Tim is trying to find out what happened to his dad and only Detective Pikachu can help him. What I liked is how they didn’t bog the story down with too much plot. The story is easy to follow and is easy to understand, even if you’re not a Pokemon fan. Directing Rob Letterman directed this movie and he did an excellent job. I liked the Eastern influence he bought to the movie. It had some Blade Runner vibes with the nighttime scenes. I have heard Grace Randolph and other reviewers mention this as well. He does a good job mixing light and dark tones together. One minute the movie is a lighthearted family movie, the next it’s a dark film noir mystery. The use of close-ups helps with driving home the emotional scenes. You can see the pain with the close-up shots. No tricks or fancy camera work just solid, simple directing that lets the scenes play out. The action scenes are easy to track and the pace is just right. Screenplay Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, Rob Letterman, and Derek Connolly wrote the screenplay. The movie has sharp writing and touching moments that work well together. Tim’s problems are treated with real emotion and not as a punchline as some movies do, (Avengers Endgame, I am looking at you). I can see some of the internet fan people going off about how there are not many Pokemon battles, (this is a movie called Detective Pikachu, it’s not meant to be the anime). It is based on the 3DS game. It didn’t have Pokemon battles in it. This movie is more of a detective movie and the screenplay wisely focuses on the journey and knows when to place the action and laughs. There are some Pokemon battles, but they’re not the main attraction. Family content Is this a good family movie? Yes, it is. There are only three curse words and it isn’t even bad. A few jokes have some adult themes, and there is some scary action, but other then that; there is nothing in this movie that would offend anyone. This is a PG movie and it doesn’t have a lot to upset families. I would recommend children over the age of seven go. Some scenes might be too scary for little children. Flaws Every movie has flaws. The biggest complaint I have is the running time. It is only 1 hour and 44 minutes long. With all of the Pokemon and human characters in the movie, it should’ve been over 2 hours. The movie moves at a fast pace and there isn’t enough time to get to know some of the minor characters. Also, the villain should’ve been more fleshed out. I do hope the sequel gives us more time with them. Other than that, I can’t find anything to criticize. Final Thoughts Detective Pikachu is a great family movie. The real star is Pikachu himself. He is so snugly, adorable and cute you want to reach through the screen and hug him for hours! The other Pokemon look great too. From Jigglypuff to Squirtle and Psyduck, they got the looks of the Pokemon right and their personalities. This is how you do beloved video game characters in a movie. This is how you don’t upset a fan base so much that they want to grab pitchforks and torches, go to Hollywood and riot. The makers of Sonic the Hedgehog could learn a lot from this movie. This is how you make the fans happy, this is how you make a great family film that doesn’t insult the audience and gives people their money’s worth. Score: 4 Stars A snugly wuggly grand slam of an adorable family movie that will put you in a good mood. If you love Pokemon or just good family movies. Go see this movie now! Photo Courtesy of: https://thepopinsider.com/interests/movies-interests/detective-pikachu-valentines/
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