Detective Pikachu (also known as Pokémon Detective Pikachu) is a 2019 urban fantasy mystery film directed by Rob Letterman. Based on the Pokémon franchise created by Satoshi Tajiri and serving as a loose adaptation of the 2016 video game Detective Pikachu, it was written by Letterman, Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit and Derek Connolly, from a story by Hernandez, Samit and Nicole Perlman. The film was produced by Legendary Pictures in association with Toho. It is the first live-action Pokémon film. Ryan Reynolds stars as the voice and facial motion capture of Pikachu, with Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Suki Waterhouse, Omar Chaparro, Chris Geere, Ken Watanabe and Bill Nighy in live-action roles.
In the Pokémon universe, Tim Goodman is a 21-year-old insurance salesman who has given up Pokémon training due to the death of his mother and the absence of his father, Harry. He travels to Ryme City – a metropolis where humans and Pokémon live together as equals – to collect Harry’s assets following his apparent death in a car crash. He runs into Lucy Stevens, a fluff columnist and aspiring reporter suspicious of Harry’s death and trying to do her own investigation and impress her boss. In Harry’s apartment, Tim encounters Pikachu that can speak and only he can somehow understand; the pair then escape from an attack by a party of Aipom under the influence of an “R”-labeled purple gas that Tim accidentally released upon inspection. They take shelter at a café where Pikachu reveals that he is an amnesiac detective who was Harry’s police partner, and that they were investigating a case together when Harry disappeared.
Lucy leads the duo to Ryme Wharf and, after interrogating a Mr. Mime there, are directed to an illegal Pokemon fighting arena owned by Sebastian. He demands a rematch with Pikachu, who previously defeated Sebastian’s Charizard. However, after Sebastian gives Charizard a dose of the R gas, Tim attempts to save Pikachu during the rematch. Sebastian then mishandles the R gas and accidentally releases it into the stadium, causing havoc. Sebastian tells Tim that he got the R gas from “the doctor”. After confronting police lieutenant Hideo Yoshida about Harry’s apparent death and the possibility of his survival, Tim and Pikachu are brought before Ryme City’s benefactor Howard Clifford by his bodyguard Ms. Norman, who reveals to Tim that Harry indeed survived his car crash, which was caused by an attack from a recently escaped Mewtwo, which took him away and left Pikachu with amnesia. Howard warns them of his son, Roger, who he claims is in de facto control of his company and the city. Tim and Pikachu recruit Lucy and her Psyduck on an expedition to the lab facility Harry was investigating, where they learn the doctor was a researcher aided by Harry, who had been experimenting on Mewtwo, recaptured after escaping 20 years earlier.
They are soon attacked by several Greninja who chase them out of the building, but are fended off by Psyduck. They then escape a field of colossal Torterra, but Pikachu is gravely injured. Tim manages to communicate with a Bulbasaur and takes Pikachu to a clearing in the forest where they are greeted by Mewtwo, who heals Pikachu and restores some of his memories, which show that he was the one who released Mewtwo from the lab. Mewtwo attempts to reveal its intent, but is captured by Roger. Thinking that he betrayed Harry to a vengeful Mewtwo, Pikachu leaves Tim while the others return to Ryme City to warn Howard. Pikachu comes across the area where Harry’s car crash occurred, and finds evidence that the Greninja attacked Harry, not Mewtwo. Tim reached Howard who intends to transfer his consciousnesses into Mewtwo and use his powers to fuse Pokémon with their owners, with the assistance of the R gas. He also learns that “Roger” and Ms. Norman are both actually been a same shape-shifting Ditto, with the real Roger having been tied up and hidden.
As Howard in Mewtwo’s body starts fusing humans with Pokémon, Pikachu arrives and finally summons his electricity powers to battle Mewtwo, fending off Mewtwo long enough for Tim to free Mewtwo from Howard’s control. Mewtwo restores everyone to normal while Howard is arrested by the police, and it reveals that Mewtwo had kept Harry’s body and that he had in fact fused Harry’s consciousness with Pikachu’s in order to heal him; despite the fact they fuse their consciousnesses, just like Pikachu’s memory, the fusion even erased Harry’s just like while being within Pikachu. After Mewtwo unfuses them with the assistance of Tim, a fully revived Harry offers Tim the chance to return home, but Tim decides to stay in order to learn how to become a detective and spend time with him and Pikachu.
It’s funny but the major draw for this movie comes from the performance of Pikachu with Ryan Reynolds voice. It is funny to visualize Pikachu voiced by Deadpool. The human characters pale in comparison and the plot isn’t very original. But otherwise it is enjoyable and I’d give it an 8 outta 10!