Detective Pikachu was released May 10th, and oh boy was it a mess. A fun mess, but still a mess. Beware of light spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie yet.
Let’s talk about the first scene. It was very sloppy. Our main character, Tim, is walking through the woods with his friend when they run into a Cubone. Tim gets upset that he’s friend set this up so Tim could catch it, and finally get a Pokemon partner. It was like they wrote the movie but then went “Oh shoot, we have to address that Tim doesn’t want a partner,” and sloppily threw it in. They immediately transition to Tim getting an awkwardly written and preformed phone call telling him that his dad was in an accident and. . . dead.
Tim goes to Ryme City. This is where his dad was stationed as a police officer, and in this city, catching Pokemon and battling them is a thing of the past. Here, Pokemon and humans are friends, much like dogs and humans in our world. The whole city design is well done, and really beautiful. The neon colors and tall glass buildings are amazing visuals.
Tim goes to his dad’s apartment, and eventually runs into Pikachu, played by Ryan Reynolds. Pikachu’s character is. . . tricky. Before this moment, it was pretty obvious that this was a kid’s movie, but with the introduction of Reynold’s character, the line between kid’s and teen movie becomes extremely blurred.
One big problem is that Ryan Reynold’s starred in the 2016 film Deadpool. Deadpool is rated R, but yet Deadpool’s character, and Pikachu’s, is very similar. A lot of the jokes in the first half hour of the film are adult. Adult jokes in kid movies are nothing new, and are totally fine, and can add charm to your film, but it does not work for Detective Pikachu. It leaves so much to be desired. The movie steps so close to the edge of PG-13 territory that it leaves you wondering why they just didn’t take it.
When you realize this, it makes you realize another problem this film has. Why is it for kids? I went opening weekend to this movie, and saw maybe only five kids. The Pokemon franchise is for kids obviously, but this movie was mostly appealing to adults and teens who played the games growing up. It seems the writers knew this too, since there were so many jokes aimed at adults. The movie just seems so empty, and pulling towards something it wanted to do but couldn’t.
After you meet Pikachu, you get introduced to the next character. I honestly forgot her name, she was so forgettable, but after a quick Google search, I found out her name was Lucy. She was written as a fun sidekick/love interest, and that’s it, despite the fact that she solved most of the mystery. She is still written off as a sidekick just because Tim got to fight the big bad super villain at the end. It was a pretty disgusting treatment of a character, and even though I did not find her very appealing, she deserved so much better.
Speaking of the film’s mystery, it was terrible. You could see almost all the twists and turns from a mile away, and the ones you couldn’t where just so bad that you didn’t expect the movie to take that turn.
Okay, I’ve gotten most of the negative out of the way. One last positive thing about this film is the Pokemon designs were phenomenally done. They adapted each and every one that appeared in this movie very well.
I gave this movie a 4/10. I think it’s a fun movie, but once the first hour is done, it becomes very tiring to sit through.