Detective Pikachu opened today here in Japan and I was lucky enough to get tickets on its opening day. The theatre I visited was packed with people—like me—eager to watch our fluffy yellow friend in his life action debut.
I went into to the theatre with few expectations for Detective Pikachu. I knew Pikachu looked utterly adorable and ultra fluffy, but that was about all. I left, however, thoroughly happy with what I’d just watched on the big screen. I wouldn’t really call this a review of Detective Pikachu, rather just a write-up of my thoughts. Things that surprised me, left me in awe and… confused me.
This article is largely spoiler free, but mentions some minor points and scenes in the movie.
At first, seeing Pokémon reimagined and populating the “real” world felt jarring. But after a few Pokemon introductions everything just felt right. Once I got past the initial surprise it was a joy seeing Pokémon having roles in the real world and it brought a smile to my face each time I noticed certain Pokemon doing certain things. All my initial fears were completely eradicated after the first thirty minutes or so of the movie and I think spotting their favourites is definitely something fans of the series are really going to enjoy.
Long time fans will definitely enjoy the subtle (and not so subtle) hints the movie makes towards the Pokémon series as a whole. Things never felt forced and even the most blatant nods felt like the were delivered in an adorably suitable way; just watch the movie and you’ll know exactly what scene I’m talking about here. The more subtle hints were definitely fun to spot and I think on subsequent watches eagle-eyed fans will definitely be able to spot even more.
The soundtrack for the movie was excellent overall. It features original music alongside remixes of easily recognisable songs from the Pokemon universe, remixed to add some great emotion and impact to certain scenes. And that scene I mentioned earlier? Great track right there. The end credits are also home to an excellent track by Japanese group Honest Boyz (already a favourite of mine, for what it’s worth) titled Electricity. Definitely give it a listen when you get chance.
The plot for the movie wasn’t exactly the strongest, but it was fun to follow and led to some moments of greatness in the movie. At times it does seem a little far-fetched, but nothing that ruins the overall tone and joy of the movie. Towards the end it does feel like the plot goes a little off the path of realism, but nothing too bad happens and I definitely think it’s something fans will enjoy regardless.
Pikachu is obviously the standout character and helps to move the story along in ways that simply click. Ryan Reynolds just fits as the characters and his witty remarks during most scenes are delivered excellently and really help to build Pikachu as a character.
Overall, the entire movie gets two massive thumbs up from me. But I was absolutely in love with the end credits. It was a beautiful visual mash-up featuring tons of artwork and styles. Truly tickled my designer fancy and I cant wait to watch it again and take some inspiration from it. The music track wasn’t bad either.
I could continue on listing things I liked or thought were a bit off about the movie, but I want to keep this article somewhat short. In summary if you’re a Pokemon fan definitely make the effort to watch Detective Pikachu. If you’re not a fan of the series, go along for the ride anyway and enjoy the charming ride you’re in for.
Go see Detective Pikachu! You’re going to love it. I can feel it in my jellies.