Pros: Recognizable game characters; Pikachu; general mood of the film Cons: Weak plot; predictability; unconvincing heroes and villains; humor for your Pokémon Detective Pikachu / “Pokémon Detective Pikachu”
Genre children’s film, game film
Director Rob Letterman
Starring: Ryan Reynolds (Detective Pikachu), Justice Smith (Tim Goodman), Kathryn Newton (Lucy Stevens), Ken Watanabe (Detective Yoshida), Chris Geere (Roger Clifford), Bill Nighy (Howard Clifford), etc.
Студия Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures, The Pokémon Company
Year of release 2019
In case you spent 23 years in suspended animation and have not heard anything about Pokémon, and in the last three years it was absolutely impossible to hide from them, we refer you to our material on the AR game Pokémon GO, a large section of which is devoted to the emergence and development of this franchise . However, the article from three years ago already needs additions.
Since the triumphant release of Pokémon GO, which remains very popular to this day, three new games in the series have been released: Pokémon Sun and Moon (2016), Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (2017), Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! (2018). Pokémon Sword and Shield are expected to release in the second half of 2019. The anime about Pokemon continues to be released, the 22nd season started in October 2018, and the total number of episodes has exceeded a thousand (already 1053, to be exact!). The number of full-length animated films about Pokemon shown only in Japan has reached its third decade. These films are released annually, and in 2019 the next part will appear (in fact, this is a remake of the very first film), by the way, dedicated to Mewtwo, one of the heroes of Detective Pikachu.
As you can see, Pokémon Detective Pikachu is far from the first film in this universe; it is simply the first Hollywood film aimed at Western audiences, and, moreover, it is a live-action film, not an animated one. For its appearance, we should thank the Niantic studio and the Pokémon GO game, which made Pokémon world celebrities.
Detective Pikachu centers on the story of Tim Goodman, an unsociable young man who doesn’t really like Pokemon and, unlike everyone else, doesn’t want to have his own pocket monster. This is strange, considering that as a child he dreamed of becoming a Pokémon trainer and fighting in tournaments. The death of his mother and a disagreement with his father changed his life. At the beginning of the film, Tim goes to Ryme City, a utopian city where people and Pokemon live side by side, and meets a broken, coffee-addicted Pikachu, who considers himself a great detective and wears a cap like Sherlock Holmes. Suddenly it turns out that Tim, the only one of all people, can understand the language of Pokemon, or rather, can communicate with one single Pokemon, this strange Pikachu, who wants to help the young man find his father.
By and large, this is a very, very simple story, designed for viewers 7-12 years old – I’m afraid adults may get bored while watching it, unless, of course, they are fans of Pokemon games. The plot here is almost straightforward, the main villain is figured out in the first 25 minutes of the film, and most of the really funny episodes were shown in the trailers. In addition, a lot of the jokes in the film are aimed at those who are already well versed in Pokemon. Why we shouldn’t upset Psyduck will be explained to us several times, as well as why Cubone wears a skull on his head. But that’s why Jigglypuff performing karaoke, which no one listens to, is funny, I’m afraid, few will understand. As is why Lickitung uses his worst weapon to comfort Tim. Or how can the weakest of Pokémon, Magikarp, help friends who find themselves in a difficult situation? Etc. and so on. Jokes only for our own people, tied to the abilities and biographies of Pokemon.
Pokémon Detective Pikachu appears to feature all of the Pokémon from the first generation and some of the more recent releases. Eevee, Bulbasaur, Charmander, Caterpie, Butterfree, Jigglypuff, Mewtwo, Furret, etc. Some were given a separate small episode, others just flashed in the background. Identifying and finding all the Pokémon featured in the film is a separate game, akin to finding Easter eggs in Ready Player One. If you love the Pokemon universe, you’ll probably want to watch the movie again later, with the option to pause the playback to find any monsters you missed.
However, Pokémon Detective Pikachu is a Pikachu movie, and literally everything here rests on the charisma of the yellow electric Pokémon. Motion capture specialists and animators managed to create such a cute creature that it is absolutely impossible to resist its charm. They say Ryan Reynolds gave his best performance here, and in the English version Pikachu is simply irresistible; alas, we won’t notice this in the Ukrainian voice acting. However, Ryan Reynolds still conveyed some of his character and that of Deadpool to this character – the little yellow coffee drinker turned out to be arrogant and straightforward in a good way.
Whether you enjoy watching Detective Pikachu depends on how deeply immersed you are in the topic. If games and other stories about pocket monsters are not interesting to you and you are just looking for a movie for the weekend, then you should not expect too much from this picture, it is not far from the same Next Gen. If you are an experienced Pokémon trainer and have already walked hundreds of kilometers in search of rare creatures in Pokémon GO, feel free to give Detective Pikachu another point – this film is definitely for you.
More than a standard children’s film about the friendship of a hero and a fantastic creature. An excellent gift for fans of Pokemon games, but for everyone else the picture may seem too naive and simple