Tag Archives: Pokemon Detective Pikachu

My Thoughts on: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019)

*note: very minor spoilers, but otherwise I did my best to avoid them.

Let me start this review by making one point clear: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu is not a bad movie. In fact, there were times I quite enjoyed myself.  The first live-action Pokémon movie could have easily gone the way of so many other video game films and been so much worse.

But then again, it could have been a lot better too.

Sticking with the positive though, I have to say all of the Pokémon in the film are beautifully rendered. Each Pokémon looks real and believable, I’m not even upset there’s only 60 different species represented in the film (for context there are currently around 800 Pokémon). My particular favorites in the film are Charizard and especially Bulbasaur. I also surprisingly enjoyed Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Detective Pikachu. I wasn’t sure about that in the beginning but it works.

pokemon-detective-pikachu-3-1552650387

The film’s story is also a minor positive. Once you have all the core components, the film’s premise is essentially sound. We have a setting, a protagonist, a villain, and the villain’s motivations for doing what they do. We also have some convenient twists along the way along with a boy meets girl sort-of-romance angle that felt slightly forced. The problem is, the execution of this plot left something to be desired. Certain plot points are presented in such a convoluted manner that I was left asking questions in my head until almost the end of the film. I understand the writers were trying to create a sense of mystery, but as a result so much time was spent on a winding path of plot points that the story lost something. And while I liked most of the characters, I feel like more time could have been spent with the villain and the villain’s motivations. More character development would have made certain key scenes that much more impactful.

The film’s biggest weakness, for me at least, is the sheer amount of awkwardness. Early on, it felt like the actors were each interpreting the script differently. Some were playing it more or less straight, some were acting over the top, and this is one of the first times I can remember being distinctly aware of a lack of onscreen chemistry between certain characters. I think some of the scenes were meant to be awkwardly funny on purpose, but that kind of humor has never gone over well with me and the film would have been better without it.

detective_pikachu_trailer_13_1920.jpg

*minor spoiler for this next paragraph*

However, above all else, the thing that bugs me the most comes mid-way through the film when two characters go exploring in a certain rather dangerous area. The way these characters enter this area demonstrates such a lack of common sense and thinking that I was dumbfounded as the scene played out. I know these characters aren’t experts in investigation, but come on, EVERYONE knows you’re supposed to at least try to be sneaky about these things.

To conclude, I did enjoy Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, even though it didn’t blow me away. There’s certainly ample potential for a sequel and I’m not against seeing one made. Let me know what you thought about Pokémon: Detective Pikachu in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Soundtrack Review: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019)

Film Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

 

 

 

Advertisements

Soundtrack Review: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019)

POKÉMON Detective Pikachu stars Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu, the iconic face of the global Pokémon phenomenon—one of the world’s most popular, multi-generation entertainment properties and one of the most successful media franchises of all time.  Also starring are Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Suki Waterhouse, Omar Chaparro, Chris Geere, and Rita Ora, with Ken Watanabe and Bill Nighy.  Fans everywhere can now experience a Pokémon on the big screen as never before, as Detective Pikachu, a Pokémon like no other.  The film also showcases a wide array of beloved Pokémon, each with its own unique traits and personality.

The score for Pokémon: Detective Pikachu was composed by Henry Jackman, whose scoring credits include Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: First Class, Monsters vs. Aliens, and Kong: Skull Island among others. The score, which released on Friday, May 3rd, is absolutely beautiful. Jackman employs a variety of strings and other instruments throughout the score. However, what really puts this score over the top is Jackman’s decision to mix in synthesizer music with the orchestral score. And by synthesizer, I mean think of the music you heard in the original Pokémon games, that synthesized “doop-doop” that is instantly recognizable. A number of the tracks slide in and out of this synthesized music, and it helps bring the Pokémon world to life.

Regarding the soundtrack, Jackman had this to say:

Writing the music for POKÉMON Detective Pikachu was immense fun.  The movie itself was a unique invitation to create a new musical world representing all the wonderful and colorful characters of the Pokémon  universe.  I really enjoyed using many different sonic colors so, if you listen carefully, you can hear everything from the full symphony orchestra to analog vintage synths.  I was also very happy to be working again with Rob Letterman, who even tried to get his beloved 808 Drum Machine into the score, until we found it was fatally damaged.  To have been selected to write music for such a well-loved and precious franchise is a great honor, and I greatly hope my best efforts contribute positively to the Pokémon experience.

If the film is as great as Jackman’s score, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu could easily be one of the best films of the first half of 2019. Even without seeing the film, the music is a joy to listen to. Jackman covers an entire emotional range, from light and humorous to dark and melodramatic. If the film has any failings, it will not come from the music.

As the Pokémon: Detective Pikachu soundtrack is available now, listen to it when you get the chance and let me know what you think about it in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film Soundtracks A-W

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂