Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (aKa Detective Pikachu) is a 2019 fantasy film co-written & directed by Rob Letterman (Shark Tale, Monsters vs. Aliens, Goosebumps, & Gulliver’s Travels). It’s based on the Pokémon franchise created by Satoshi Tajiri. It’s a loose adaptation of the 2016 video game of the same name. It was written by Dan Hernandez (1600 Penn, Super Fun Night, One Day at a Time, & The Tick), Benji Samit (1600 Penn, Super Fun Night, One Day at a Time, & The Tick), & Derek Connolly (Safety Not Guaranteed, Jurassic World franchise, Kong: Skull Island, & Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker). It was produced by Cale Boyter (Blade: Trinity, The Butterfly Effect, Elf, A History of Violence, Shoot ‘Em Up, & Pacific Rim: Uprising), Mary Parent (Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Kong: Skull Island, Set It Off, Godzilla, & The Revenant), & Hidenaga Katakami (Pokemon XY, Pokémon the Movie: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel, & Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!). The film was produced by Legendary Pictures in association with Toho. It was originally developed in 2016. The budget was $150 million & it grossed $431.6 million worldwide at the box office!!!!
In the Pokémon universe, Tim Goodman (played by: Justice Smith from Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, The Get Down, & Paper Towns) is a 21-year-old insurance salesman who has given up Pokémon training due to the death of his mother & the absence of his father Harry. He travels to Ryme City to collect Harry’s assets following his apparent death in a car crash. In Harry’s apartments, Tim encounters a deerstalker-clad Pikachu (played by: Ryan Reynolds from Deadpool franchise, Green Lantern, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, & The Voices) that can speak & only he can somehow understand; the pair then escape from an attack. They take shelter at a café where Pikachu reveals that he is an amnesiac detective who was Harry’s police partner & that they were investigating a case together when Harry disappeared. They look for Lucy Stevens (played by: Kathryn Newton from Big Little Lies, The Society, Blockers, & Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). She leads Pikachu & Tim to Ryme Wharf. After investigating, they are directed to an illegal Pokemon fighting arena owned by Sebastian. He demands a rematch with Pikachu who previously defeated Sebastian’s Charizard. Sebastian gives Charizard a dose of the R gas, Tim attempts to save Pikachu during the rematch after it becomes obvious that Pikachu can’t remember how to use his electric powers. Sebastian then mishandles the R gas & accidentally releases it into the stadium causing havoc. Sebastian tells Tim that he got the R gas from “the doctor”. After confronting police lieutenant Hideo Yoshida (played by: Ken Watanabe from Godzilla / King of the Monsters, Transformers franchise, Batman Begins, & Inception) about Harry’s apparent death & the possibility of his survival, They talk to Howard Clifford (played by: Bill Nighy from the Underworld franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Shaun of the Dead, & Total Recall) with his bodyguard Ms. Norman (played by: Suki Waterhouse from Assassination Nation, Killers Anonymous, Future World, & Charlie Says). Howard warns them of his son Roger (played by: Chris Geere from Modern Family, Urge, & After Earth). Pikachu & Tim recruit Lucy with her Psyduck on an expedition to the lab facility Harry was investigating, where they learn Sebastian’s “doctor” Ann Laurent (played by: Rita Ora from Fifty Shades trilogy & Southpaw), was a researcher aided by Harry who had been experimenting on Mewtwo. She was recaptured after escaping 20 years earlier. They are soon attacked by several Greninja. They then escape a field of colossal Torterra. Tim manages to communicate with a Bulbasaur & takes Pikachu to a clearing in the forest. They are greeted by Mewtwo who heals Pikachu & restores some of his memories. Their investigation gets deeper & darker as they start to reach some real answers to their mysteries. Can they fix these problems & solve it all before it’s too late????
From the trailer, Detective Pikachu looked like a buddy comedy but the actual film is very serous. It kinda took me by surprise because I wasn’t expecting that from a Pokemon movie. Don’t get me wrong, it still has a decent amount of humor in it. Ryan Reynolds was great as Pikachu & he’s the true highlight of this feature. Justice Smith was alright as the lead & I will say that he can pull awkward with no problem but I thought someone else would have been better in that big role. Their chemistry was okay in this. It does have an awesome supporting cast that includes Bill Nighy, Suki Waterhouse, & Ken Watanabe. They boosted the overall production. I thought the script was a little too predicable & it didn’t leave much to the imagination when it came to the mystery & major twist at the end. I’ll be the first time admit, I don’t know much about Pokemon & I’ve never been a big fan of it. When I originally seen it in theaters, I went with an expert who said the film didn’t really have much to do with the actual franchise. I noticed the obvious references & gags right away but it seemed like they tried to do their own thing with this flick. The visuals were top notch in this, it looked great. I thought Detective Pikachu was solid but nothing special. It had it’s entertaining moments but I don’t think I would go back & revisit it much. You might want to rent it first if you are curious about it.
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Warner Bros! This 2160p (2.39:1) transfer with HDR10 looks stunning in 4K! Visually, this is one of the best looking films of this year so far. The locations & Pokemon characters really stand out here. It has Neo Noir feel to it. It has a huge variety of 17 different audio options which includes English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1, English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1, Cantonese: Dolby Digital 5.1, Korean: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1, Bulgarian: Dolby Digital 5.1, Czech: Dolby Digital 5.1, Hindi: Dolby Digital 5.1, Hungarian: Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1, Romanian: Dolby Digital 5.1, Russian: Dolby Digital 5.1, Slovak: Dolby Digital 5.1, Thai: Dolby Digital 5.1, & Turkish: Dolby Digital 5.1 on this UHD. The dialogue is crystal clear & the music sounds top notch here. Lots of different subtitles here also which includes English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Hindi, Hungarian, Korean, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Thai, & Turkish. Obviously, I didn’t love the movie but this is a great technical release!!!!
Let’s discuss the special features from Warner Bros. There’s none on the 4K disc, they are all located on the blu ray. “Detective Mode” is full length pop up track feature. It has all kinds of stats & information to go with the film. It has an introduction by director Rob Letterman. “My Pokémon Adventure” is a little over 2 minutes. Lead actor Justice Smith chats about being a huge fan of franchise.The little over 21 minute “Creating the World of Detective Pikachu” is broken down into 5 different parts which includes “Uncovering the Magic”, “Colorful Characters”, “Bringing Pokémon to Life”, “Welcome to Ryme City”, & “Action”. It’s hosted by Kathryn Newton & Justice Smith. Plus it has interviews with director Rob Letterman, Ryan Reynolds, & various members of the crew. They chat about being fans & Pokemon having an influence on them. Ryan Reynolds jokes about doing a film that his kids can actually watch. They talk about their favorite characters. They bring up acting alone & waiting for CGI to be added later on. They go over the creation of the Pokemon characters & their names. They chat about their experience here. An almost 2 minute “Alternate Opening” with Tim at work. “Mr. Mime’s Audio Commentary is a 3 minute short track that covers the interrogation scene. “Ryan Reynolds: Outside the Actor’s Studio” is a little over a minute. It’s really short but it’s hilarious plus his wife has a cameo in it. A by Music Video:by Rita Ora & Kygo “Carry On. It also has a slipcover, a digital code, a Pokemon card, & a blu ray copy of the release. It was released on various formats including blu ray, DVD, & it had a few store exclusives. It’s available everywhere right now!!!!