When I first saw the trailer for Pokemon Detective Pikachu, directed by Rob Letterman, I honestly thought it was some kind of elaborate joke.
I had no idea it was based on a video game, and had no clue what they were trying to achieve.
Having now seen the film, I can tell that Detective Pikachu was a love letter film to Pokemon fans.
There are multiple fan service moments for the people who enjoy the game and series.
However, I am not one of these people.
While I did watch Pokemon as a kid, I am not, nor have I ever been, an avid fan.
So, take note that I do not fit into the intended demographic for this film before you read the review.
If you are a fan of Pokemon, then I am sure you will enjoy the film.
I even liked some parts of it, which I will get to later.
However, overall, I found Pokemon Detective Pikachu to be a film with a lot of problems.
The first twenty minutes were straight up boring for me, with many of the jokes failing spectacularly.
I quickly came to dislike many of the characters, including the main character Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), and his love interest, Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton) whose introduction had to be the worst scene of the entire movie.
During these twenty minutes, I was practically praying that Ryan Reynolds’ Pikachu would show up to add something to the film, which thankfully he does.
Reynolds does a good job as Pikachu and his interactions with Tim actually made me start to like him half way through the film.
Sadly, though, his presence is not enough to save the film for me.
Apart from Pikachu and Goodman, I cared for none of the other characters, and a lot of the jokes fell flat for me.
Then there are the twists, which are pretty predictable, for the most part.
Granted, I did like the last twist, but it did raise quite a few plot holes in the story.
This is not the only case of plot holes in the film though, because there are actually quite a few.
There is one action sequence with some Pokemon created by scientists, but there was no reason for them to be created because they did not tie into the villain’s ultimate plan.
Like I said though, there are some good parts.
Although a lot of the jokes did not land for me, there is a great scene where Pikachu and Tim interrogate a Mime Pokemon, which gets a lot of laughs.
Pikachu’s chemistry with Tim is pretty good but, again, I only started liking Tim half way through the movie.
Finally, there is the CGI for the Pokemon, which, while not fully realistic at times, feels appropriate for the film.
But, Detective Pikachu’s target audience is ultimately Pokemon fans.
If you are one, then you will most likely love this movie.
For me, however, while there are some good things about Pokemon Detective Pikachu, there are also a lot of bad that stop it from being good.