Detective Pikachu review round up: Ryan Reynolds brings 'sardonic' sensibility to a 'predictable' plot

FP Staff

May 03, 2019 13:07:59 IST

A week away from Detective Pikachu's release, reviews of the live-action Pokemon movie are already pouring in. Directed by Rob Letterman, Ryan Reynolds voices the titular character, a little, furry yellow Pokémon as he teams up with Tim Goodman (played by Justice Smith), the only person who can communicate with him. Tim is in search of his missing father and as they uncover this mystery, looking for clues around Ryme City, they land in trouble much bigger than they had imagined.

Detective Pikachu review round up: Ryan Reynolds brings sardonic sensibility to a predictable plot

A still fro Detective Pikachu's trailer. Screenshot from YouTube

Though the Warner Bros. film opens in theatres on 10 May, read along to see what critics are saying about the film.

IGN writes that "Detective Pikachu impresses not only with its ballsy humour but with how it’s not overly precious with the usually family-friendly Pokémon brand. Detective Pikachu’s immaculately rendered Pokémon, a story with a big heart, and Ryan Reynolds’ whip-smart, self-aware performance as the title character, it’s easy to see why Pokémon: Detective Pikachu is super effective."

In its review of the live-action flickThe Hollywood Reporter notes, "It turns out Pokemon Detective Pikachu isn’t half bad. Despite the film struggling to organically blend the comedy, action and emotional moments, Letterman’s energetic direction manages to hold everything aloft. While Reynolds brings a generous sampling of his sardonic Deadpool sensibility to the voicing of the title role, while Justice does justice to his necessarily reactive performance.

"Though consistent with the game (with a few extra but obvious twists thrown in for good measure), the story of Detective Pikachu doesn’t allow nearly enough Pokémon-related action, while the quality of the computer animation (by Moving Picture Co. and Framestore) falls far short of the basic level of competency audiences have come to expect from effects movies. Neither Pikachu nor any of the other Pokémon look as though they belong in the live-action environments. What we can make out of Pikachu’s personality comes through Reynolds’ sardonic line readings, although most of the time, the furry yellow critter we see on-screen doesn’t look like it’s actually feeling the things it says," reads a Variety review.

"Narratively incoherent to the point of being almost avant-garde, the film goes down a lot better if you come to it with a finely nuanced understanding of the difference between a Jigglypuff and a Wigglytuff. As the wisecracking voice of Pikachu, Ryan Reynolds deserves some sort of special citation for doing the best he can without Deadpool's f-bombs (or a decent script) to lean on," adds Entertainment Weekly.

USA Today points out the ordinariness of the plot: "The story, however, is pretty convoluted and predictable — albeit with one nice twist at the end but misses the chance to be a really fun adventure with an unlikely gumshoe."

In his three-star review for the The Guardian, Steve Rose says that the blend of live-action and CGI is not always 'seamless', but there's enough variety of characters to keep it interesting. He writes, "By comparison, the humans are rather bland but it’s Reynolds who saves the day. He takes what could have been a generic conceit by the scruff of the neck and gives it the requisite jolt of energy — electrical, caffeine-derived or otherwise. He’s worth every penny."

Updated Date: May 03, 2019 13:09:56 IST

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