Movie Review: Pokemon Detective Pikachu (2019)

Synopsis: Tim Goodman has been estranged from his father, Harry, a police detective, since his mother's death 10 years ago. When he learns Harry has been killed in a car accident, Tim travels to Ryme City, a city where capturing and battling Pokémon is illegal and the creatures are treated as equals, for closure. Instead, he meets his dad's Pikachu and, for reasons he can't explain, realizes he can understand the Pokémon. When the Pikachu, who is suffering from amnesia, tells him he believes Harry is still alive, Tim agrees to help investigate and ends up discovering a world of illegal Pokémon battles and mastermind's diabolical plot involving the genetically-created Mewtwo.

Review: When this movie first came out, I have to admit, I wasn't overly interested in watching it. I wouldn't describe myself as a huge Pokémon fan, but I also like the franchise enough to think this movie just looked like it had the potential to ruin a good thing. However, I did have it on my Netflix DVD list and, as a result of that, we wound up finally watching it with the family. As it turns out, it was actually quite a bit better than I was expecting it to be.

There were a couple things, in particular, I found I liked about this film. I think the biggest was the mystery surrounding Pikachu (Reynolds), why he was able to communicate with Tim (Smith) and how he and Harry were involved in a mysterious plot that seemed to involve turning Pokémon into crazed monsters. And, of course, there was also the part about Mewtwo being involved, which just added an additional mystery about whether or not Mewtwo was one of the bad guys or a victim.

One thing that helped was the fact, despite being able to hold an actual conversation (something that was risky), Pikachu still manages to be likable. I especially liked the fact he had a coffee addiction and just enough arrogance to get himself into trouble.

I also liked how plenty of other Pokémon were included in the background of the film, doing everything from fighting fires to serving coffee. It made the movie much more watchable and, at times, funny, than I would have anticipated.

I did find I wasn't that big of Tim's love interest, Lucy (Newton), just because the additional relationship seemed to get lost in the background when Tim was already forming a bond with Pikachu and still had unresolved issues with his dad. It almost would have been better to save any subplots involving romance for the sequel.

Final Opinion: I had a lot of doubts about this film, but it wound up being an entertaining family movie. I'd recommend watching it.

My Grade: B


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