Movie Review: Detective Pikachu

Over the weekend, I took my family to see Detective Pikachu at the movies. My eldest child is absolutely Pokemon-mad and has been playing Detective Pikachu (a separate Pokemon related game) on her DS since it came out. She has been absolutely amped for this movie and we were all happy to go along for the ride.

The first thing you have to know about Detective Pikachu is, that it’s not based on Ash and Pikachu, and the Kanto region adventure. This is a different Pikachu – a Detective Pikachu. He talks, sort of, and he investigates. This movie is more of a gritty cyber-punk action film, but is still pretty family friendly.

Directed by Rob Letterman (‘Monsters vs. Aliens’, ‘Shark Tale’)

Starring Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Bill Nighy, Ken Watanabe

In NZ theatres NOW

Prepare to be wowed

The CGI in this movie is impressive. I was a teenager when the Pokemon show and games were first released, and it was amazing to see what that world could look like in real life. The opening scenes with the rolling fields and open spaces, and the wild Pokemon moving through were exactly as I imagined. However, most of the movie is set in Ryme City, which is more dystopian and other-worldly. There’s not as much “gotta catch ‘em all” going on. Pokemon mostly roam free.

Without too many spoilers, the story follows Tim, on his journey to Ryme City after his father, Detective Harry Goodman, has a car accident. He gets dragged into the crash investigation by his father’s partner; the adorable sleuth, Detective Pikachu. A wannabe reporter, Lucy, pushes Tim and Pikachu closer to the truth with her own investigation.

Something for everyone

For the adults, there are plenty of laughs. Pikachu has all the best lines and Ryan Reynolds, who voices Pikachu, has excellent comedic timing. Quite a few people have been saying this is like “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” for a new generation and I would definitely agree with that. Roger Rabbit was innovative for the time – a wise-cracking detective flick with cartoon characters walking around in real life. It’s quite similar in comedic tone as well.

For the kids, there’s a tonne of action and adventure, and Pokemon! There were a few quite intense moments in the film, where the characters seemed to be in danger. It is probably not much more intense than a later Harry Potter film. But I did worry my 7 year old would not handle it. I looked over at her and she was huddled a bit on her seat, but when I asked her if she was okay she had the biggest smile on her face. I think if your kid is a bit sensitive to violence or worries about earthquakes this wouldn’t be the film for you though.

Is Detective Pikachu a good movie?

After the movie ended, I asked if everyone enjoyed it and I got a resounding yes, from the youngest to the oldest in our group. I don’t think you have to know about Pokemon to enjoy the ride, but if your kids are Pokemon-mad like mine, this one would be unmissable.

Detective Pikachu is rated PG. Check with your local cinema for the audience ratings for these movies at the time of viewing. Find more information on ratings and classifications. Parental discretion is always advised.

For more visit the Detective Pikachu Movie website

Have you seen the movie? Is your kid a Pokemon fan (or are you)?

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kymmageWritten by Kym Moore

When she isn’t herding kids or cats, Kym loves to drink craft beer, or share a whine and a wine with friends. She is also partial to a well-made cocktail. Her happy places include sitting on couch watching British Comedy and daydreaming. Lots of daydreaming.

Favourite artist: Bowie


  1. dawnblyth 02/06/2019 at 9:26 pm

    Haven’t seen the movie yet. My sister loved Pikachu when we were growing up and my two boys watch it occasionally now. Might be one that we wait till its on tv to watch.

  2. SarahBlair 02/06/2019 at 8:47 pm

    This sounds like a good movie that would be enjoyed by my whole family, it sounds really fun! I will have to watch this with them!

  3. kymmage 02/06/2019 at 11:30 am

    Yeah the movie is PG, so in my opinion very little kids may not find it an easy watch. But that said, how many kids movies are rated G these days!? Almost every single one is PG.

  4. Micht 01/06/2019 at 5:50 pm

    My kids watched the trailer and were not overly impressed… i never was into pokemon so cant say i would look forward to it…but i know alot of people who would enjoy it… it is a bit funny but not my cup of tea…

  5. Alezandra 29/05/2019 at 10:21 pm

    This review truly helped. I saw the trailer but wasn’t entirely convinced and hearing Ryan Reynolds voice just reminded me of Deadpool. But based on this, I believe it’s not a good movie for our 4 year old.

  6. MuddledUpMolly 28/05/2019 at 5:32 pm

    First review I’ve seen for this film and it looks to be a good one 🙂 Master 9 would no doubt love to go see this!

  7. Shorrty4life1 26/05/2019 at 9:19 pm

    This actually looks pretty cool. Great read. Nope have never seen the movie and kids are not pokemon fans but I’m sure we can change that for a excuse for a movie date right? 🤔

  8. candyjanenz 26/05/2019 at 4:33 pm

    At first I thought that I would not want to see this film, however after watching the trailer I thought that it looked quite cool and would want to watch this. I love movies starring Ryan Reynolds and I could see his humour in the movie trailer.

  9. Bevik1971 24/05/2019 at 3:08 pm

    It actually looks really good and I thought the CGI was great just from the ads I had seen. My 6 year old loves Pikachu although never watched the Pokemon series. My son who is now 26 used to watch it back then, so it’s been around for a while!! What’s the rating on this film? I don’t think my 6 year old would like it if it has any scary bits etc as she is quite sensitive and scares easily 🙂

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