Review: 'Detective Pikachu' is a spark of nostalgic fun

Updated: Jun 3

“Detective Pikachu” sets the standard for all video game movies.

By Alana Aimaq, Staff Writer


Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Based on the spin-off of the 90’s Japanese video game that took the world by storm, “Pokemon: Detective Pikachu” is the nostalgic live-action adaptation Pokemon fans have been waiting for. Its silly, wholesome script built on the beloved realm brings us one of the best family-friendly comedies of the year.


Directed by Rob Letterman, the movie follows Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) and Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) on the quest to find Tim’s missing father, Harry Goodman, who disappeared after a mysterious car crash occurred. Tim then meets Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton), a reporter that smells a story with Tim’s father that might be bigger than they both imagined. She and Tim attempt to solve the case, along with her nervous sidekick Psyduck, and unravel what could be the biggest mystery to ever catch ‘em all.


Their journey begins in the town of Ryme City, where Pokemon and humans live together in harmony. As we meet classic characters along the way including Bulbasaur, Magikarp, Charizard and the cute but deadly Ditto, we are immersed in a world that seems so real, we might as well be in the video game itself. Surprisingly enough, the animated Pokemon look just as lifelike, despite the talking Pikachu that threw everyone off in the trailer. The action-packed film lays out some intense battle scenes in true Pokemon fashion that lead us through a thrilling ride of laughs and tears.


Tim and Pikachu, on the other hand, have their own hurdles to jump over as the comedic duo tries getting along for the greater good. Smith’s portrayal of an unmotivated, nervous orphan pairs well with Reynold’s hyperactive Pokémon performance. Caffeinated and committed to solving the case, Pikachu must constantly convince Tim to let him aid in the search for his father.


Smith’s and Reynold’s on-screen chemistry gives the movie an unexpected comedic side that actually fit quite well for a movie based on magical creatures. The two get caught in an action-packed mess that ultimately leads them to find corruption too close to home, leaving the audience in shock at its unexpected ending.


This sentimental movie lays the groundwork for what a video game movie should really look like. With its cute comedic style and unpredictable twists, “Detective Pikachu” really proved naysayers wrong and captured the franchise well. I definitely recommend everyone to see this movie.

The Valley Star 

Los Angeles Valley College

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