Detective Pikachu Review: A Wildly Entertaining Franchise Appears

Pokemon has always wanted to be the very best franchise like none before ever was. After decades [...]

Pokemon has always wanted to be the very best franchise like none before ever was. After decades ruling over the pop-culture sphere, Pokemon has decided its finally time to venture into the world of live-action with Detective Pikachu, and fans will be delighted to hear the news: Detective Pikachu is the Pokemon film fans have waited their whole lives for and then some.

The film is loosely based on the story presented in a 2016 game of the same name. Fans get to meet a young man named Tim Goodman who is brought to Ryme City when he learns his father Harry was killed on the job as a detective. Things gets weird when Tim meets an amnesiac Pikachu who he can speak with, and the pair team up to figure out whether Harry is actually dead and who took Pikachu's memories.

Filled to the brim with Easter eggs, Detective Pikachu makes a Pokemon world feel more real than ever before. Fans will exit theaters expecting to see a Charmander waiting for them outside, and this live-action venture perfectly imagines these creatures in real life. More than 60 Pokemon can be seen hiding throughout the film, but there are standouts as expected. And yes... we're looking at you, Psyduck. If the psychic duck annoyed you growing up, then prepare to stan Psyduck after seeing Detective Pikachu.

The film's stellar cast slips into the Pokemon universe with ease as Ryan Reynolds proves he was the perfect man to give Pikachu a voice. While many may have felt Danny DeVito was the only actor capable of giving Pikachu the perfect impatient performance, Reynolds' acerbic lines will win fans over in a matter of minutes. The Pokemon is incredibly sarcastic, but Reynolds manages to imbue heartfelt moments into his performance. This emotion is only heightened by Justice Smith and his take on Tim Goodman. The lead proves he can carry this franchise with or without a Pokemon partner, but fans will agree that Smith thrives on screen when he's with Pikachu.

Detective Pikachu's cast and crew make the live-action adaptation into a truly remarkable feature with the promise of more to come. In the same way Iron Man laid the foundations for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this film does the same for Pokemon. While Detective Pikachu is insular in its main story, the worldbuilding done to make pocket monsters believable is far from isolated. The film sets up an entire universe filled with thriving regions, diverse trainers, and history dating back to the ancient times. A few key references to the anime proves Detective Pikachu fits easily into the overall Pokemon canon, making fans plenty eager for Justice to leave Ryme City and visit towns in regions ranging from Kanto to Alola.

With such high expectations weighing upon the film, Detective Pikachu proves Pokemon was made for live action. The film is full of heart and fulfills the wishes of fans both young and old. Even novices will leave theaters intrigued by the film's colorful world and wish Detective Pikachu found a way to include a bit more action. As the movie comes to an end, Detective Pikachu feels like the first successful step to an all-out Pokemon journey all while delivering an uplifting adaptation worthy of beating the Elite Four.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu is scheduled to release in theaters on May 10th. Do you have questions about the film? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!


Exciting news, Pokemon fans -- A Wild Podcast Has Appeared, the official Pokemon podcast of, is here! Check it out by clicking here or listen below.

In this premiere episode, we talk Detective Pikachu, discuss the new Pokemon Pass app, run down Pokemon Go's Legendaries, and more! Make sure to subscribe now to never miss an episode!