Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) – Summary, Review (with Spoilers)

Title Card - Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)
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While there is a bit more innuendo than you may expect, Pokémon Detective Pikachu may just be the rare exception to video game/ card game crossovers.

Director(s) Rob Letterman
Screenplay By Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, Rob Letterman, Derek Connolly
Date Released 5/9/2019
Genre(s) Comedy, Animation, Action, Adventure
Good If You Like Slightly Dirty Jokes

The Movie Being Based In The Pokémon World And Not The Real World

Touching Moments Over Ones Made To Make You Cry

Isn’t For You If You Like To Overly Scrutinize CGI (Because It Gets Wonky Sometimes)

Don’t Think Pikachu Should Be So Dirty

Noted Cast
Harry/ Pikachu Ryan Reynolds
Tim Justice Smith
Lucy Kathryn Newton
Roger Clifford Chris Geere
Howard Clifford Bill Nighy

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Pokémon Detective Pikachu Plot Summary

21-year-old Tim hasn’t seen his father for at least ten years since his mother died and he elected to be raised by his maternal grandmother than his dad. Making him suddenly hearing his dad died a tragedy, but not necessarily a debilitating one. For even as he goes through his father’s apartment, the disconnect doesn’t lead him to become a bawling mess. Though, with inhaling a gas and finding himself able to talk to his father’s, Harry, Pikachu, things get weird.

If only because Pikachu says Harry is alive and also was on this big case. One which the Pokémon avert Tim wants to investigate alone, but eventually renege as being able to communicate with Pikachu means being able to speak with Pokémon. Thus leading to them going on a journey together which happens to also include helping Pikachu get his memory back.


Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Considering the technology Howard Clifford and his son Roger were working on, how come humans and Pokémon weren’t able to speak to one another yet?


It’s A Comical Film

Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) talking to Tim.
Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds)

While the comedy seemed a bit inappropriate, like Pikachu noting, when he invites Tim to Harry’s apartment, that he doesn’t do that often because he isn’t that type of Pokémon, it’s consistently funny. Not just slightly dirty jokes which, hopefully, go over kids heads, but sometimes silly moments like Psyduck losing his mind and Tim’s awkwardness. You see, there is this girl, a news reporter in the making, Lucy, who is investigating Harry’s disappearance and a secret facility the Clifford family owns. She works with Tim, and well, Tim lacks social skills. So, between Pikachu trying to help and Tim flailing like a Magikarp, it just leads to moments you can’t help but chuckle at.

It Has It’s Touching Moments

Though one of the more recent trailers may lead you to believe you’ll be crying throughout the movie, or multiple times – it doesn’t go that far. Yes, Tim’s connection with Pikachu and his absentee father will get you in your emotions. However, the film never goes for the gut. It just makes it clear that Tim has trust and possibly abandonment issues.

On The Fence

The Story Is Alright

Mewtwo up in the air.

If you’re a kid, the story will likely seem awesome since it has Mewtwo as a villain, Pikachu talking and trying to solve a major case, lots of Pokémon walking around, the occasional battle and a handful of twists. As an adult? Well, there is enough nostalgia for you to enjoy the movie but not enough depth to make you hype this up the same way Incredibles 2 or the Lion King remake is/ was hyped. As someone who watched Pokémon during the Jesse/ James and team rocket era, I wasn’t bored, yet I do feel if it wasn’t for Reynolds’ style of comedy, I probably would have checked to see how much time was left.

Midway Through, The CGI Becomes Shaky

For the first half of the movie, before the climax, the CGI and interaction with it is good. However, something happens midway that leads to the technology suddenly feeling dated like a team of pros who were really good at their jobs got fired or went on strike. Leaving a noticeable shift that doesn’t go from Pixar or James Cameron CGI to something subpar but, it was like going from Imax to regular old digital (mind you, I saw this in 2D digital format).

Pokémon Detective Pikachu Overall Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

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Does Pokémon Detective Pikachu lead you to wonder what took so long for this to become a live action movie? No. Yet, it is good enough for you to want more films in the Pokémon universe. Whether they are based on the video games or animated stories.

Leading to why this is being labeled positive: While reliant on Reynolds’ humor to keep the older folks attention, Pokémon seems like it will have no trouble making young fans happy. Plus, as much as you know this is about merchandise and testing the waters for future movies, which aren’t straight to DVD, it doesn’t feel heavily reliant on nostalgia or taking advantage of the show’s name and delivering a sub-quality product. I mean, yes, the CGI sometimes gets a bit iffy, but overall this is definitely a movie to check out.

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