clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pokémon Detective Pikachu

The noir-style spin on a Pokémon story is currently in theaters.

Alissa Wilkinson covers film and culture for Vox. Alissa is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics.

Metacritic score: 53 out of 100

Pokémon Detective Pikachu is one of the more unlikely movies to hit the theaters recently, and the premise sounds sort of like it was cooked up in a state of delirium. Tim (Justice Smith) teams up with Pikachu (voiced by Ryan Reynolds), who is somewhat inexplicably a detective, to solve a big mystery involving nefarious plots and Pokémon, with a strong assist from a budding reporter named Lucy (Kathryn Newton).

Set in a shadowy underworld that seems drawn straight from noir and sci-fi (particularly Blade Runner, believe it or not), Pokémon Detective Pikachu is not exactly a triumph of cinema, but it’s a lot better than it has any right to be. You don’t have to know anything about Pokémon to enjoy the film, which is strangely touching and genuinely funny — and the fact that Pikachu is incredibly cute doesn’t hurt.

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.