DETECTIVE PIKACHU: Hilarious Family Friendly Pokemon Deadpool

Cue Ryan Reynolds playing smartass Ryan Reynolds as a more family friendly Deadpool in a Pikachu costume and we have the hilarious family friendly DETECTIVE PIKACHU. Personally my only Pokémon experience was spending six months addicted to Pokémon Go and losing heaps of weight chasing pokémon all over Sydney. So I wasn’t the best to review this one. So off went Kernel Blake who only assumed it was about kids playing with their balls. He had never played the game and had never watched any cartoons – and the good news is……he still thoroughly enjoyed it.

DETECTIVE PIKACHU is out now in Australia from the fine folks at Roadshow/ Warner Bros. It is rated PG and runs for 104mins. There is plenty to laugh at for both kids and adults alike.

Enjoy Blake’s review………….all the best……………Salty.

BY BLAKE CURRALL

Heading into a screening of a film, where you only know the basic plot as a bunch of kids playing with their balls, is not usually a recipe for an entertaining time. However, DETECTIVE PIKACHU, based on the global Pokémon phenomenon, is exactly that. Entertaining, not the part about playing with balls.

Eyebrows were raised when Ryan Reynolds announced his next project, after the hugely successful DEADPOOL series, would indeed be a film about Pokémon. Those worries were somewhat put to rest with the initial trailers showing the light hearted, sarcastic tone of DETECTIVE PIKACHU and the familiar Reynolds style. Thankfully, the film backs up those initial reactions to the trailer.

Pikachu Movie
Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu

THE DETECTIVE PIKACHU STORY:

We begin with Tim (Justice Smith, JURASSIC WORLD FALLEN KINGDOM), a loner insurance salesman, heading into a field with his persistent friend Jack (Karan Soni, DEADPOOL) in search of a Pokémon companion. In the world of DETECTIVE PIKACHU, humans and Pokémon, fantastical creatures with various powers, team up to battle each other. When his attempts at collecting a “Cubone” Pokémon go awry, Tim receives a call that his estranged father has been murdered.

Travelling to the metropolis of Ryme City, a sprawling cityscape designed by Howard Clifford (Bill Nighy, SHAUN OF THE DEAD) specifically for humans and Pokémon to co-exist in harmony, Tim is informed that his estranged, detective father had been murdered while investigating strange instances involving unusually aggressive Pokémon.

It is here, while trying to figure out what happened to his father, that Tim is met by his father’s old partner, the titular DETECTIVE PIKACHU (voiced by Ryan Reynolds), an adorable yellow fuzzball with a Sherlock Holmes hat, that has unfortunately lost his memory. To most people, all they understand when Pikachu talks is his trademark “Pika, Pika” but with Tim it’s different, he can fully understand what Pikachu is saying, allowing them to team up and get to the bottom of the mystery.

Bill Nighy in Detective Pikachu
Bill Nighy in Detective Pikachu

As the two intrepid detectives head out on their search for clues, the intricate details of the city and the Pokémon world at large are expanded upon, allowing those of us (i.e. me) that have no idea of this universe, to get a better understanding of the creatures that inhabit the world of DETECTIVE PIKACHU.

The story has a few twists and turns that may be head scratching for some of the younger audience, although those that are a little older will soon figure out where things are heading, especially the final act that does rely heavily on some familiar tropes. That’s not to say DETECTIVE PIKACHU isn’t entertaining. It very much is and that is primarily down to Ryan Reynolds.

Detective Pikachu movie image
Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu and Justice Smith as Tim Goodman in DETECTIVE PIKACHU

THE CAST:

Reynolds’ voice work, matched with the incredible CGI of Pikachu, brings gallons of charm, snark and humour to the film. Paired with Justice Smith, they make for a fun duo to spend the runtime with. Reynolds could charm the paint off walls and he single-handedly makes for a fun, entertaining time. With the animated facial expressions and body movements of his furry character adding to the fun experience.

Smith brings a lot of heart to the role as a young man who has been lost for so long after the passing of his mother and the seeming abandonment of his father. Teaming up with DETECTIVE PIKACHU gives him a purpose and drive for life again and you can feel that in the performance.

Bill Nighy is in full Bill Nighy mode, playing the billionaire genius who built the city these characters inhabit, while a few of the supporting cast are a mixed bag. A young intern that works for Clifford’s company and a potential love interest for Tim, Lucy (Kathryn Newton, BLOCKERS) seems a little out of her depth in a lot of her scenes and Howard Clifford’s son, Roger (Chris Geere, THE FESTIVAL) is ridiculously over the top as the sneering bad guy for most of the film. Ken Watanabe (INCEPTION) has a small but solid role as the police lieutenant that worked with Tim’s father.

But the focus of the film is the vast array of crazy critters that inhabit the world of DETECTIVE PIKACHU. I have it on good authority from Pokémon fans that your Mewtwo’s and Jigglypuff’s are faithfully recreated from the cartoons into this film. Each character’s individual personalities are powers are well presented and explained and the effects work is, for the most part, top quality.

Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu
Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu

VERDICT:

If you’re a Pokémon fan, I get the feeling you’re going to love the heck out of DETECTIVE PIKACHU. Seeing the world of Pokémon brought to life in live action/CGI on the big screen will be a massive hit with people of all ages that are into the Pokémon world. Those of you that couldn’t tell the difference between a Charizard and a Psyduck, fear not as you’re still in for an entertaining time. Things can get a little convoluted at times and not all the performances hit the mark, but on the whole DETECTIVE PIKACHU is a surprisingly fun ride, mainly thanks to the performance of Ryan Reynolds and his adorable alter ego.

YOUR REVIEWER:

Kernel Blake is a part-time beard bandit, philanthropist, industrialist….bicyclist…photographer, world traveller, movie lover, a man of few words who enjoys the finer things in life. Like reciting Snake Plissken quotes. And when all that fails, heads out to a racetrack to do skids. He can be found twatting @bcurrall80 and hipstergramming @bcurrall80

** All images courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor/publisher – credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.