‘Pokémon: Detective Pikachu’ is the Perfect Summer Blockbuster

By Kyler Guebert, Staff Reporter

Summer is here, which means summer movie season has officially begun.

As a college student balancing work and school, it’s tough for me to be able to see everything the day it comes out. I’ve decided that, instead of reviewing the newest release every week, I’m going to review any summer movie I can see when I get the chance.

Almost two weeks after its release, I finally got to see “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu.”

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I’ve been a fan of Pokémon since I was a kid. I played all the games, watched the TV shows and I still have all of my trading cards sitting in a cabinet in my house. So to say my anticipation and expectation for this film was high is a massive understatement.

Walking out of the film and thinking back on it, my expectations weren’t met. They were exceeded.

The world building and character design felt real. Walking through Ryme City and seeing all of the Pokémon was like playing Pokémon on my GameBoy for the first time. There’s so much magic in this world, and I found myself wishing it was real the entire runtime.

The visual effects throughout the film are top notch. The Pokémon very clearly look slightly out of place, but it works incredibly well. It feels exactly like what it would really be like to coexist with Pokemon. It captures the desire for Pokémon to be real and allows audiences to see what it would really look like.

As for Detective Pikachu himself, Ryan Reynolds is at the top of his game. At first, he felt a bit out of place voicing a small yellow rodent, but the character development for the character makes his voice blend seamlessly. It makes you forget Deadpool is voicing a Pokémon.

The rest of the cast also does great work, especially Justice Smith. Smith leads the film and perfectly balances the comedy of the script with the emotional turmoil his character goes through. His development feels rushed, but it never feels out of place.

Smith and the rest of the cast had to act opposite virtual characters, and it’s never awkward. Throughout action scenes and even emotionally charged moments, the human cast never acts like they’re acting opposite an empty space. This just makes the world feel all the more believable and real.

The film is also a great detective story.

I expected a half-baked mystery that relied far too heavily on the appeal of the Pokémon. Instead, the story never stops, allowing our two leads to discover more and delve deeper into the mystery presented, and continues to thrill with twists and turns up to the last few moments of the film.

I honestly lost count at how many times I audibly gasped.

Every single plot twist feels earned. The story sets up its dominoes very carefully and lets them fall with grace and perfect timing. It’s incredibly emotionally charged, which is probably why myself, along with all three of my friends whom I saw it with, cried multiple times throughout the film.

If I had one issue with the film, it’s that my favorite Pokémon since childhood, Mudkip, a starter Pokémon from the Ruby/Sapphire era that I grew up on, never appeared once. This isn’t to say that it ruined the entire film for me, but it was a bit disappointing.

That being said, “Detective Pikachu” is the perfect summer blockbuster. It’s the perfect escape from the heat that provides non-stop fun and twists that will leave you wanting even more of this world. As a Pokémon fan, it’s everything I could have wanted and as a summer blockbuster lover, it’s the perfect way to start out this season.

Staff reporter Kyler Guebert can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @kguebert88.

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