Pokemon Detective Pikachu

Detective Pikachu, voiced by Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith in a scene from 'Pokemon Detective Pikachu.' (Warner Bros)
Detective Pikachu, voiced by Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith in a scene from 'Pokemon Detective Pikachu.' (Warner Bros)


Ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son, Tim, to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu: a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who’s a puzzlement even to himself. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City—a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world—they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe.


Detective Pikachu is the perfect remedy for a heavy week. It's all about easy laughs and bringing the world that nerds like me know from the small screen and games to the silver screen.

The movie – which is already a blockbuster in America - takes the premise of a classic film noir and melds it with a fun buddy comedy.

The Pokémon world is a rich tapestry that unfolds as the movie goes on, but I would say that this is a background player to the two charming leads.

That being said, the colourful world does add a unique dimension to Detective Pikachu, and I have to say that it gave me a special thrill to be able to see my personal favourite Pokémon like Eevee, Gyarados and more's interactions with the 'real' world as created in this film.

It also reminded me of watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit in the way that it took a lot of the signature tropes of the noir detective mystery genre and juxtaposed them into outlandish situations.

For example, there's the classic use of shadow, lamps and suspense when Pikachu meets Tim, but then it's a line about the tiny CGI figure using his Pokémon powers to electrocute the stunned human. A literal little bit of dark with lots of light.

I know that other reviews have said that the third act of the flick is full of plot holes and pushes the boat out a little too far, but I honestly don't know what they were expecting in a movie – that from the first trailers – let you know that one of the biggest action stars in the world would be voicing a tiny, cute Pokémon detective with a ridiculous Sherlock Holmes hat.

I always feel that people who struggle to suspend their disbelief during a film like this should not make it the problem of others.

Either you can imagine a world where Pokémon live alongside humans or you cannot. If you cannot, please don't see this movie. I am sure there are lots of documentaries with your name written all over them, and that's fine.

For the rest of us, there's this movie which will take you away from your problems for a fun afternoon let you become a part of a world where everything works out ok, and the good guys are who what you want to be.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu is by no means perfect, but it's precisely what you need if the world has been a little too much lately. Escapism at its finest.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24