Detective Pikachu plunges audiences into the urban fantasy of Ryme City, a metropolis populated with humans and Pokémon “coexisting peacefully,” as long as the Pokémon serve us as bartenders and DJ speakers. Former Pokémon trainer Tim Goodman, not to be confused with his famous thespian brother John Goodman, discovers a talking Pikachu in his home voiced by Ryan Reynolds (who only mentions he’s not Deadpool twice during the film). Together, they begin searching for his missing father.
Hiding behind the thrill of solving a mystery and distracted by the cuteness of Pika-pi, a sold-out movie theatre audience sat watching Pokémon propaganda. The movie repeatedly stood by the message that this was consensual labour. That Pokémon wanted to be robbed of their freedom and used in fights to the death, so their owners could earn glory as the best trainer in the world! If it was indeed consensual, why were these pocket monsters beaten with the intent to cripple them enough so that they could be caught?
Ryan Reynold’s quick-witted banter refused to provide any explanation. Children applauded and adults laughed, entertained by Pikachu’s caffeine addiction; a coping mechanism to face a world that conditioned his kind to believe enslavement is the only way to survive amongst humans. It’s clear as day when you see the dingy, dark depths of a battle arena, its blood sport. I realized I was sobbing, my popcorn covered in more tears than butter.
After composing myself in the washroom, I remembered the $43.50 spent on a Cineplex VIP ticket, drink and popcorn. Bravely, this critic returned to her seat and finished watching this grimy snuff film. If you’re into propagation of Pokémon-on-Pokémon violence, or perhaps enjoy trophy hunting then this is right up your alley, you sick fuck!
SCORE: 3 out of 5 underground Growlithe-fighting rings