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10 Things Critics Are Saying About Pokémon: Detective Pikachu

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
Almost twenty years after “The First Movie,” Pokémon is returning to the silver screen like never before. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Things Critics Are Saying About Detective Pikachu. For this list, we’re taking a look at what press members have been saying about “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu.” Watch the video at

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Top 10 Things Critics Are Saying About Detective Pikachu

Almost twenty years after “The First Movie,” Pokémon is returning to the silver screen like never before. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things Critics Are Saying About Detective Pikachu.

For this list, we’re taking a look at what press members have been saying about “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu.”

#10: It’s a Great Introduction to Pokémon

For 90s kids, chances are you discovered “Pokémon” through the video games, trading cards, or anime series. Whether or not you were alive at the height of Pokémania, the franchise has nonetheless remained very much in the public eye over the past couple decades. Ash is still trying to catch ‘em all on the small screen and “Pokémon Go” has made over $3 billion since its release in 2016. For the youngest of audiences, “Detective Pikachu” could end up being their first exposure to “Pokémon.” It’s a good place to start according to TheDisInsider editor-in-chief Skyler Shuler, who posted on Twitter, “If you didn’t grow up with this brand, this movie does a great job introducing you to this world!”

#9: It’s a Throwback to Roger Rabbit

So… the film is about a cartoon character who teams up with a human to solve a mystery in a comedic adventure that mixes live-action and animation. Where have heard that before? While the similarities are obvious, critics are saying that “Detective Pikachu” draws comparison to “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” in the best ways. Den of Geek associate editor David Crow praised the film, writing, “The first act is Who Framed Roger Rabbit with Pokémon and works so well.” Grace Randolph of Beyond The Trailer took things one step further, claiming that the film was not only reminiscent of “Roger Rabbit,” but also “Blade Runner.” We wonder if that means Mewtwo is a replicant?

#8: Fun for Casual & Hardcore Pokémon Fans

If you’re a mega fan who gets pumped whenever a new “Pokémon” game is announced, there’s little doubt that you’ve already pre-ordered a ticket to “Detective Pikachu.” Even if you haven’t finished a “Pokémon” game since Generation 1, you still probably get overwhelmed with sweet, sweet nostalgia whenever you see one of the OG 151. This film isn’t just for longtime followers according to Marah Eakin. The A.V. Club’s senior editor believes that “Pokémon obsessives will be pleased, but Poké novices will be able to follow along—and will maybe even get sucked into the whole world.” In other words, game difficult is not applicable this time around, no need to turn on Experience Share or go Nuzlocke.

#7: It Immerses You in the Pokémon World

What 10-year-old hasn’t fantasied about capturing wild Pokémon, winning gym badges, and making it to the Pokémon League? Heck, if you ever met a kid who wished the Pokémon world wasn’t real, they were probably an alien. Many reviews have singled out the fantastic worldbuilding of the Live-Action Pokémon World, making our childhood dreams a reality. Nicholas Whitcomb of HN Entertainment called the film “spellbinding,” saying that it “captures the sense of wonder and awe so many of us who grew up with Pokémon, experienced from the start.” Collider’s editor-in-chief Steven Weintraub shared the same sentiment, proclaiming, “If Ryme City from Detective Pikachu was a real place I’d make plans to visit it tomorrow.” We can already hear audiences singing, “we all live in a Pokémon world!”

#6: It’s Filled with Hard Laughs

Numerous critics have highlighted the refreshing sense of humor “Detective Pikachu” offers. Megan Peters of raved, “I laughed hard and felt my heart swell.” Of course, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, seeing how Pikachu shares the same voice as the Merc with a Mouth. Ryan Reynolds’ goes from Deadpool to PikaPool, finally producing a legitimate “family film.” While we’re not expecting Pikachu to drop quite as many f-bombs as Deadpool, Reynolds’ snarky, self-aware comedic timing is clearly on display. If the viral marketing is any indication, the film should also offer plenty of laughs that’ll resonate with Pokémon fans.

#5: It’s Heartfelt

“Heartfelt” seems to be the keyword in a lot of early Twitter posts about “Detective Pikachu.” Paul Shirey of described the film as “Silly, heartfelt and chock full of Pokémon.” Nerdist Creative Director Dan Casey also called the film “heartfelt,” as well as “relentlessly charming.” The “Pokémon” franchise has certainly never been scarce of heartwarming moments. Whether it was Butterfree’s goodbye or Pikachu returning to Ash, the anime series more than likely got you choked up at least one. It’s good to know that the brand’s trademark heart of gold has translated into this major motion picture.

#4: It’s Filled with Easter Eggs

You know that sense of satisfaction and delight one gets whenever they stumble upon a hidden detail in a video game? “Detective Pikachu” reportedly captures that same sentiment. Steven Weintraub’s enthusiastic Twitter post says the film is “filled with Easter eggs.” Since there are currently over 800 Pokémon, the filmmakers naturally had no shortage of material to work with. In addition to being overrun with living, breathing Pokémon, Ryme City is decorated with billboards and posters that fans will appreciate. This Easter egg hunt couldn’t be bigger if Exeggcute (sounds like “Egg-za-cute”) showed up. It’s like the “Pokémon” version of “Ready Player One” and we gotta spot 'em all!

#3: The Plot Is Convoluted for Non-Pokémon Fans

While the reception has been mostly promising thus far, this PikaParty isn’t necessarily for everyone. Germain Lussier of Gizmodo and io9 admired certain aspects of the film, but he ultimately felt the plot was “overly convoluted and frankly, a little boring.” Of course, Lussier also made it clear in his tweet that he literally knew nothing about Pokémon going into the theater. In other words, if you never got into the anime or games, this might not be the Poké project that converts you. Fans, on the other hand, may sing a different tune.

#2: It Nails Pikachu’s Cuteness

When an animated character is brought into a live-action world with a CGI makeover, the results don’t always receive immediate approval from the fan community. We’re looking at you: Unholy abomination claiming to be Sonic. Fortunately, the Pokémon in “Detective Pikachu” don’t stray too far from their original blueprints with the titular character in particular retaining his signature charm. IGN’s Terri Schwartz was blown away from the film’s creature designs and how cute they managed to make Pikachu. Likewise, Ian de Borja of IMDb called the film (xref) “painfully cute.” We’re not entirely sure if that’s a compliment, but this will undoubtedly be Ryan Reynolds’ cutest performance ever.

#1: It’s the Best Video Game Movie

You know that the bar for video game movies has been set pretty low when the original “Resident Evil” and “Mortal Kombat” are considered among the better ones. Ever since the “Super Mario Bros.” movie, films directly based on video games have seemingly been cursed into developing a reputation for being traditionally terrible. Is it possible that “Detective Pikachu” has finally broken the curse? Early word of mouth seems to suggest so. Nicholas Whitcomb claims the film “excels well beyond previous big screen video game efforts.” David Crow noted that it wisely borrowed from “other movie tropes instead of video game ones.” As far as GameXplain’s André Segers is concerned, “Detective Pikachu is the first legitimately great video game movie.” It just might be the very best.


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