Pokemon: Detective Pikachu - Since the 1990s', Pokémon has had a dominating presence in the entertainment industry through manga, television, animated films, a trading card game, and of course countless video games. In all that time, fans have been waiting for this very moment. Thanks to Ryan Reynolds, director Rob Letterman, and a large team of writers, we have the first live-action Pokémon film for audiences across the world. Pokemon: Detective Pikachu follows Tim Goodman (played by Justice Smith) and Detective Pikachu (voiced by Reynolds) as they join forces to solve the mystery of Tim's father's disappearance, plus a strange biochemical attack on Pokémon companions.
Gimmick-Free: Detective Pikachu comes with a learning curve for both the audience and the filmmakers. When we look back at these types of adaptations, they usually fail. However, I would argue that this film was able to get past some of those hurdles and spring towards success. The intertwining of live-action and CGI was far more impressive than what I expected in Detective Pikachu. Instead of getting oversaturated images of Pokémon, it looks like the closest technology can get to rendering what the fantasy creatures would look like in our world. Speaking of "world", Detective Pikachu does a great job of showing Pokémon in a live-action setting without feeling like a gimmick. The lack of a gimmick atmosphere is what makes this film work enough to surpass the typical adaptation bombs we have endured in the past.
High Risk, High Reward: When Ryan Reynolds reportedly was attached to this film, it sent a figurative shockwave through the filmgoer community and the Pokémon fanbase. Why would Ryan Reynolds take on something so risky? Did he not worry about a Green Lantern or R.I.P.D. backlash? Luckily, it was one that paid off — Reynolds is perfectly cast as Detective Pikachu. Additionally, Justice Smith is great as a supporting character to the caffeine obsessed Detective Pikachu, and the two make for a memorable duo.
Room to Work: As much as Detective Pikachu impressed me, it also failed to exceed anything but an average plotline. I can appreciate the writers for helping bring the film to life, but that's about all. From the first act, I could easily predict the cookie-cutter second act journey of companions at a crossroads. The third act presents some epic Pokémon action, but that's where it ends in terms of what is substantive.