‘Detective Pikachu’ movie review

Note: This is a spoiler-free Pokémon Detective Pikachu movie review

As a Millenial, you know damn well I grew up with Pokémon. I also chose Pikachu through and through — and probably wasn’t alone in that since he was the main character of the animated TV show. Needless to say, I was pumped when I found out my man was back and played by Ryan Reynolds no less.

My man didn’t disappoint, but the rest of the movie did.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu is great if you’re looking for nostalgia. As a kids movie, the incoherent storyline causes it to miss the mark.

A Thunderbolt Of A Performance

Let’s start with the good. Reynolds’ Pikachu is far and away the star of the movie. He is your main source of entertainment thanks to quippy one-liners and dark sarcasm you may not expect from a Pokémon.

If you’ve always wondered what Pikachu was saying during his animated TV series days, well this probably isn’t it. But the effort to cater to the adults in the room is there and it’s appreciated. These are easily the most appreciated moments of Detective Pikachu and the audience reaction reflects that.

Another great thing about Detective Pikachu is all the Pokémon friends who come back into our lives. We haven’t had cameos like this since one of those holiday-themed movies with all the famous people in it. From battles to pets to just walking across the street, it’s clear that Detective Pikachu is playing straight to your nostalgia bone. And it works.

Whether you had a favorite Pokémon growing up or currently have one, you’ll find it in Detective Pikachu.

If you see the movie in a crowded theater you’ll be able to hear fans whisper to inquisitive friends the name of a Pokémon when it pops up on the screen. Those scenes combined with the of Pikachu keep the audience entertained.

MOVIE uses Psybeam! AUDIENCE is confused!

The problems arise in Detective Pikachu in the scenes where it’s not supplying Pokémon cameos or a witty Pikachu.

To put it simply, the story in the movie is jumbled and confusing. For a 30-year-old. Now throw in the fact that this movie is catering to 10-year-olds, and you’ve got a real problem on your hands.

There is just too much explaining of the plot and exactly what’s happening next with Detective Pikachu. Rather than showing visually, the movie explains verbally. It’s not done particularly well, and it’s not exactly entertaining.

The other issue is the twists and turns of the movie. One or two plot twists are great and keep the audience on its toes. The problem, in this case, is the entire movie contains plot twists within multiple scenes, making the movie difficult to follow.

The Pokémon Company and friends would have been better off with less explaining and more of featuring the creatures that made them a worldwide sensation.

Less plot twisting would have made for a better ending as well. The final thunder shock comes right at the end of the movie, but the audience is left feeling “oh God not another reveal” more than the intended emotion thanks to what preceded it. It could be the big moment of the movie. As is it’s just the final twist in a movie full of them. (The final curveball also doesn’t make sense, but I don’t know how to explain that to you without a spoiler. Sorry.)

Should I Go See Pokémon Detective Pikachu?

Nostalgia can be a wonderful thing. If you want to relive a simpler, better time where you spent hours with your GameBoy then Detective Pikachu is absolutely for you. If you’re looking for an afternoon out with the kids or a movie that won’t have you scratching your head after, you can move on from this one.

For more, check out our Movies section!

(Featured Image courtesy of Warner Bros.)


Steve Richards

Steve is happy to talk about anything pop culture; movies, TV, music, etc. Comic book movies are a specialty, but critically acclaimed movies and TV shows are also a sweet spot. He’s a co-host of the Prime Time Fantasy Football and Showcast podcasts on Next Level Radio. The second is a pop culture podcast focused heavily on movies and geeking out! As a writer, Steve is a freelance reporter for a local newspaper,, and of course Pure Fandom! He covers a variety of high school sports on the first two platforms.

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