Pikachu

Pikachu is brought to life with Ryan Reynold's voice. 

The movie “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” hit the cinema screens — and has earned $200 million worldwide. Those who’ve played the video game might find some similarities between the plot of the movie and game, though it’s safe to say the movie has its own spin on the story and brims with the anime influence.

The movie begins with a scene from a lab where Mewtwo, the most powerful Pokémon, created with genetic manipulation of Mew’s DNA, another legendary Pokémon is kept to run tests on, though he escapes and strikes the car of Harry Goodman, Ryme City’s police detective, with his super-powers and Goodman goes missing after that. The movie even ties the origin of Mewtwo to one of the most famous Pokémon Movies, “Mewtwo Strikes Back” where the lead scientist (Rita Ora) reveals Mewtwo was captured after escaping from a lab in the Kento region.

The main protagonist in the movie is Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), who gave up on his dream of becoming a Pokémon trainer after his mother died of an illness and his father left him with his grandmother to spend more time with Pokémon than his own son. After failing to catch his first Pokémon time after time at the age of 21, Tim receives a call that delivers the devastating news of his father's death in a car accident.

Tim travels to Ryme City to collect his father’s possessions. There, he encounters Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton), a young and enthusiastic news channel intern who believes there’s more to Goodman’s story and that his father might be alive. This isn’t the only surprise Tim receives that night, though. He meets his dad’s Pokémon partner, Pikachu brought to life with Ryan Reynolds voice whom Tim perfectly understands. This drives Tim crazy until they’re both ambushed by a group of Aipoms who breathe in “Gas R,” which Tim let out of a vial by mistake. “Gas R” is a mysterious purple gas created in a lab funded by the Clifford Empire that drives Pokémon crazy for an unknown reason.  

Roger Clifford (Bill Nighy), the president of Clifford Empire, where people work toward ensuring equality among humans and Pokémon, shows Tim holographic footage of Mewtwo attacking his father’s car and taking his body with him. Clifford’s aim is to provide every Pokémon and human being with an environment to live peacefully together, same as Mewtwo though, they both are seen working against each other in the movie.

The movie takes a nostalgic turn when Jigglypuff appears, singing in a coffee shop, holding its very own microphone. The nostalgia doesn’t stop here, though. Even Pikachu is caught singing everyone’s favorite song, “I wanna be the very best” that remind fans of Ash Ketchum and the good old days of his journey through Kanto region and collecting Pokémon.

The team efforts of Warner Bros., Legendary Entertainment and Toho Co Ltd. paid off when they brought back all the Pokémon from the Kanto, Jhoto, Hoenn and Sinnoh regions to life, and they looked surprisingly real. Warner Bros. made a great effort in bringing everyone’s favorite Pokémon characters to life and providing the audience with comic relief in the form of Mr. Mime and Psyduck where needed. Overall, it’s a pretty good movie to watch that will make Pokémon fans feel nostalgic.  

Contact Mughees Ashraf at ashrafmx@dukes.jmu.edu For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.