Detective Pikachu was hard to sit through. The special effects are amazing as is the art direction. The main issue is the acting. It felt like I was watching grown adults trying to perform something they did not understand nor care about. It felt like watching amateurs acting for the first time in front of a green screen.
Detective Pikachu takes place in the same world as the video games, a world where Pokemon (creatures with powers) live together with humans. Most of the story takes place in Ryme City and focuses on Tim. Tim’s father is a police detective who’s disappeared after a car accident and is presumed dead. Tim heads to Ryme City to take care of this affairs when he comes across a talking Pikachu that he can understand. Along with the Pikachu, the two begin investigating his father’s death and discover a massive conspiracy that threatens all the humans and Pokemon in the city.
The strongest part of this movie are the special effects. The Pokemon are designed with a realistic look, yet still maintain some aspects of their cartoon-y, cute aspects. The weakest part of the movie is everything else. The story is predictable and boring, but the acting is far worse.
Where was the director? Why didn’t he give better direction to the actors? For a special effects heavy movie like this, you have to explain things in detail. If you don’t, actors are just going to flail around without any idea of what the end goal is. The acting in this is comparable to some of the lousy acting in the George Lucas, Star Wars prequels. It’s not good.
Overall, this movie was more painful than it needed it to be. The acting was by far the biggest problem, but the story was simple and uninspired. In a time where many children’s movies are laced with deeper subtext that adults can appreciate (e.g. Zootopia, How to Train a Dragon, Pixar movies), movies like Detective Pikachu which lack more complex themes are comparably stupid. If you’re over the age of seven or have a maturity/mentality of someone over the age of seven, you’re going to have a tough time watching this movie.