I don’t really want to waste too much ink on Rob Letterman’s “Detectve Pikachu.” It does adhere to diehards of Pokemon, despite the comedic voicework of Ryan Reynolds as the titular private eye.
It does feel like franchise-building, a film that, surprisingly, preaches to the already converted. I am just not part of the Pokemon universe of games, and manga, and movies, and trading cards to fully appreciate many of the narrative quirks of this movie. Yes, there is heavy exposition for the newbie viewer, such as myself, which then leads us to a decent but overcooked plot straight out of a Raymond Chandler novel, but you don’t feel invested at all in any of this, unless you are a Pokemaniac.
The production design in “Detective Pikachu” is dreamy and highly influenced by 40’s noirs, but that’s not enough to suck you into what is, essentially, a heavily-inspired Pokemon-world. Pikachu, the furry yellow Pokémon, that is also ridiculously cute, but lethal, benefits from Reynolds’ straight-outta-Deadpool sense of humor, a snarky style of comedy which is mostly caged throughout this film due to the stamped-on PG-13 rating such a film must receive for optimal box-office performance. [C]