Detective Pikachu is strictly for Pokémon fans

Cute and Cuddly: Tim traces the truth while Pikachu dapples in his favourite vice, coffee
Cute and Cuddly: Tim traces the truth while Pikachu dapples in his favourite vice, coffee Pictures:supplied

Pokémon Detective Pikachu
Director: Rob Letterman
Starring: Justice Smith, Ryan Reynolds and Ken Watanabe
. . - - -

Pokemon makes a return to the limelight, but this time with some live action in Pokémon Detective Pikachu. The fuzzy, yellow character is a detective in partnership with a man named Harry.

The two serve and protect Ryme City, a world that was envisioned by billionaire philanthropist Howard Clifford (Bill Nighy), where Pokémon and humans live side-by-side in harmony – no Poké balls (the contraptions used to catch Pokémon) and no Pokémon trainers.

Harry loses his life in an accident caused by an evil Pokémon. He is survived by his son, Tim Goodman (Justice Smith, of The Get Down fame on Netflix), who finds himself on the trail of his late father’s murderer after he meets Pikachu and realises he can understand what the yellow creature is saying, word for word.

Pikachu is voiced by Ryan Reynolds, whose career is slowly plummeting to the depths of spoof actor. This man went from starring alongside people such as Denzel Washington to being a master of lighthearted parody pictures.

Anyway, the two embark on a journey in which a dangerous gas that makes Pokémon go super Saiyan (beast mode) is uncovered, along with a dark plot that threatens the existence of humanity.

Warner Brothers spent something like $150 million on this mess. All that money on reviving a wave we all got over when Simba still had those satanic Tazos.The game Pokémon Go sparked a craze a few years ago, which is probably where the studio saw an in, but some things are best left to die.

The city looks impressive and, of course, all the Pokémon are as cute as you can imagine.

There is one scene where Pikachu and Tim find themselves in a forest and the topography of this forest starts to alter itself while they are in the middle of it.

Entire sections of the forest fold in on themselves in a similar way to the surroundings bending in the dream world of Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010). It was quite a remarkable scene to behold, especially after you realised what was actually going on.


Nighy is a seasoned actor, as is Ken Watanabe who plays a jaded detective and former colleague of Harry.

The two must’ve been in need of a pay day, but they will look back at this as a blemish on their records. How do they explain starring in classics such as The Boat That Rocked (2009) and The Last Samurai (2003), respectively, and then appearing in this rubbish? I’d fire my agent, bro.

Pop singer Rita Ora also makes an appearance in this film, as one of the twisted scientists who are involved in illegal testing on Pokémon.

I hardly noticed her, shame. They even have DJ Diplo, who presides musically over one of a few Pokémon battles that happen in this feature.

If you’re still tripping over Pokémon, you dust off your Tazo collection regularly and have the rarest Pokémon on your Pokémon Go, then go forth and catch this whole film.

If you’re impartial and not a big supporter of fluffy, cutie pie cinema, then best to avoid this film at all costs.

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


Read the digital editions of City Press here.
Read now
Voting Booth
Were the knee-jerk travel bans imposed on SA following our detection of the Omicron variant necessary?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
We are being punished
49% - 128 votes
Rather safe than sorry
27% - 70 votes
They have every right
24% - 62 votes