Detective Pikachu Movie Review Roundup: Is The Pokemon Movie Any Good?

Detective Pikachu comes to theatres soon.

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Now Playing: Pokémon Detective Pikachu Movie Breakdown (Spoilers)

The next big video game movie, Detective Pikachu, has arrived in theaters. Before its debut, reviews showed up online, a selection of which we've gathered for you. Is this finally the movie that overcomes the stigma of the video game-based movie? Read on to find out.

The movie, which loosely follows some elements of the video game of the same name, features Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Pikachu--a voice he originally had much different ideas for. He teams up with a character played by Justice Smith, who can speak to this Pikachu, in an attempt to find out what happened to his father.

In GameSpot's review, critic Mike Rougeau said, "Detective Pikachu should prove enjoyable for any and all Pokemon fans, young or old. It presents fun answers to the fantasy of what life would be like if Pokémon were real. It introduces new wrinkles to the world of Pokemon, although not all of them completely work. Still, as the first official live-action trip to the world of Pokemon, Detective Pikachu presents characters I want to see again and a setting I'd like to return to."

Detective Pikachu was directed by Rob Letterman, who previously directed Shark Tale, Gulliver's Travels, and Goosebumps. It's a movie packed with references, which you can read all about in our Detective Pikachu Easter eggs roundup.

You can see a rundown of Detective Pikachu review exceprts below, while more information on the film's critical reception can be found on GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

Detective Pikachu

  • Directed By: Rob Letterman
  • Written By: Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, Rob Letterman, Derek Connolly, Nicole Perlman
  • Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Bill Nighy, Ken Watanabe
  • Release Date: May 10 (United States)
  • Runtime: 104 Minutes

GameSpot

"Detective Pikachu should prove enjoyable for any and all Pokemon fans, young or old. It presents fun answers to the fantasy of what life would be like if Pokemon were real. It introduces new wrinkles to the world of Pokémon, although not all of them completely work. Still, as the first official live-action trip to the world of Pokemon, Detective Pikachu presents characters I want to see again and a setting I'd like to return to." -- Mike Rougeau [Full review]

Associated Press

"A neutered Ryan Reynolds tries hard but can’t make this live action-meets-animated movie gel. It's plodding and listless and really not funny or smart enough. Turns out, you can't copy Deadpool tricks for the PG set." -- Mark Kennedy [Full review]

IGN

"Despite the film industry's resistance to video game movies, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu has landed a critical hit. Sure, not everything goes off without a hitch, but the lifelike Pokemon provide a nonstop stream of delights to make the weaker aspects of the movie forgivable. Smith's character gives the story an emotional weight and Reynolds delivers an endearing comedic performance that’s closer to his subversive Deadpool schtick than you'd expect. While video game movies haven't had the best track record, this movie is by and far the best example of how to do one right." -- Joshua Yehl [Full review]

Variety

"While the cultural significance of Detective Pikachu is virtually self-evident, you do have to be fairly well invested in the Pokemon franchise to appreciate the result, which feels like Legendary Pictures' half-baked attempt to get in on the massive popularity of the Pokemon phenomenon without necessarily understanding or respecting the underlying IP." -- Peter Debruge [Full review]

Entertainment Weekly

"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. But the main problem is that the film's gumball-mayhem plot is so frenetic that it's impossible to determine if it makes a lick of sense. Maybe that was the point." -- Chris Nashawaty [Full review]

The Wrap

"Is there a Pokemon whose power is to move through your eyeballs and brain and then leave absolutely no impression? Because that was my experience of watching Detective Pikachu, a CGI-heavy live-action/animation hybrid based on the popular game-anime-manga franchise (and specifically on the eponymous Nintendo game)." -- Alonso Duralde [Full review]

USA Today

"While the pint-sized Sherlock gives Detective Pikachu heart and soul, the rest of the film lacks its title character's verve." -- Brian Truitt [Full review]

Read Next: How The Detective Pikachu Movie Makes Pokemon Work In Real Life

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