POKÉMON – DETECTIVE PIKACHU [4DX Review]: Pika Pika!

Ryan “Father Grimm” Davis
@OGMrGrimm

When it comes to Pokémon, I am completely biased. I’ve owned all the games, watched the first 10 movies, watched the first 10 seasons of the show as they aired, and –yes– I even owned the Holographic Charizard Pokémon card. This movie hit me right in my childhood. In Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, it was nonetheless incredible to see all of these monsters I’ve loved for over 20-years portrayed in a “realistic” manner…

The level of fan service is immense, with winks and nods to all things Pokémon. Don’t believe me? Wait ’til the montage during the end credits. This was also my first experience with a 4DX movie, to boot. Now I’m beyond hooked and now have to see every blockbuster in this format.

For those of you that haven’t yet had the pleasure of experiencing the fourth dimension, treat yourself. 4DX has seats with crazy amount of movement to them, and vibrations, bumps, jolts (to which Moody calls a new 4DX experience as sharp air persistently blows to the back of your calves!), punches, crashes etc that all feel fantastic — yet in an entirely different and crazily realistic way. That’s not even to mention the scents that are puffed at you, water sprayed at you, lights flashed in the upper corners and smoke bellowing in from below…

Follow the clues to the nearest theater!

Seeing Detective Pikachu in 4DX was, by far, the most immersive film experience I’ve had. For a movie like this, the effects definitely added more weight to something as simple as a scene of characters sliding down a mountainside when I could actually feel it as it happened.

I have to reiterate that if you are a die hard fan, you’ll have a lot of fun with all of the many different forms of media Pokémon has represented here. There are a world of references to events from the first animated Pokémon movie, too, which could equate to a cinematic universe of its own coming for Marvel’s crown.

The concept of Detective Pikachu as a movie was a wise, more broadly bankable choice than the animated versions: an easy, first-point-sell of a young man trying to find his dad with a wisecracking adorable sidekick. That’s a much easier sell than to have a movie about children going on journeys alone with monsters they enslave and fight until knockout. Pika is also geared towards 9-13 year olds, with a few very good “edgy” jokes thrown in there coutesy of Pikapool.

Justice Smith does a decent job in the lead role, though there was very little character development or range for him to work with. Ryan Reynolds as Detective Pikachu was great, as expected, and really enjoyable (that coming from a guy who thought — when first heard Danny DeVito was attached to the role — there was nobody else who could do it). Besides the two leads, no one else really captivated or got much time. But thankfully this was all about the colorful Pokemon! Oh, and shoutout to whoever decided to in spirit reunite us with Dopinder and Deadpool by having Karan Soni cameo.

Justice Smith, and his furry costar.

While Detective Pikachu has a very by-the-numbers, it’s still a ton of fun. Only having seen the trailers and TV spots for it, I didn’t realize there would be this much action as — only greatly enhanced by watching it though 4DX. You have to be a super nerd to truly appreciate how fun it was to get sprayed in the face by a Blastoise! 4.75/5 Blastoise Blasts (Movie = 4.25/5, 4DX = 6/5).

-Ryan Davis

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