Directed by Rob Letterman
Written by Rob Letterman, Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, & Derek Connolly
Story by Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, & Nicole Perlman
Based on Pokémon created by Satoshi Tajiri
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Suki Waterhouse, Omar Chaparro, Chris Geere, Ken Watanabe, & Bill Nighy
Release Date: May 10, 2019
Running Time: 1hr 44min
Former Pokémon trainer, Tim Goodman (Smith), looks for his missing father, teaming up with his Pikachu (voiced by Reynolds) that he’s able to speak to. Along with a plucky young reporter, Lucy Stevens (Newton), they stumble upon a world altering conspiracy.
Pokémon has been part of my life since it first came to America. I played some of the games, watched the show, saw the first two films in theaters, and I’ve collected various merchandise involving the franchise (which is vast!). So yeah, I was definitely gonna check this one out! I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure Pokémon could work in a live action setting, I felt it was too fantastical. Still I was willing to give it a chance because that’s the power of nostalgia!
The film was a huge financial hit, earning $430.8 million against a $150 million budget, becoming the ninth highest grossing film of 2019 (as of writing this) and the highest grossing video game film adaptation of all time. Critically it was met with mostly positive reviews, with the performances (especially Reynolds) and creature designs getting praise, but the plot being criticized as standard (given this is a video game movie, I would say that’s not a bad thing).
I’m very glad to be proven wrong about Pokémon working in live action! This movie is better than expected, and better than it has any right to be! The humor is great, Reynolds is indeed fantastic as Detective Pikachu, with the rest of the cast also doing a good job. The Pokémon designs are amazing, realistic but still recognizable, and often adorable. I also enjoy how lived in the world feels, with Pokémon just being around and people being casual about it.
Should you see it? You like Pokémon? Then yes! You like buddy comedy movies? Then again yes!