Film and Plot Synopsis
Pokémon Detective Pikachu begins when detective Harry Goodman winds up missing under mysterious circumstances. This leads his 21-year-old son, Tim, to locate him. Aiding in Tim’s investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu; a wise-cracking super-sleuth who is puzzling even to himself. Since the two are uniquely able to communicate with one another, they join forces on an adventure to solve this mystery. Our heroes must chase clues through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City—a sprawling metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side. The two encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters on their way to discover a plot that could destroy their peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe.
‘Pokémon Detective Pikachu’ Movie Summary
Ryme City is a city where humans and Pokémon live and work together. Catching and battling Pokémon is outlawed. Once in Ryme City, Tim visits his father’s friend, Detective Hideo Yoshida (Ken Watanabe) who tells Tim that his father’s Pokémon partner has also disappeared and is presumed dead. Tim goes to his father’s apartment to begin sorting through his dad’s things. Once he gets there, Tim finds a Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) dressed in a deerstalker cap in the apartment. Even stranger, Tim can understand exactly what the Pikachu is saying instead of the constant “Pika, Pika” that usually comes from the yellow Pokémon creature.
In his confusion and alarm, Tim accidentally releases a mysterious purple gas labeled “R” from a vial he finds in Harry’s office. The gas seeps out of the apartment and infects a party of Aipom Pokémon who are sitting outside Harry’s apartment. The Aipom become rabid and begin attacking both Tim and Pikachu. The two run from the Aipom, but the effects of the gas wear off rather quickly and the Aipom become docile again.
While having coffee together, Pikachu tells Tim that he has woken up with amnesia, and that the only clues he has to his identity are Harry’s name and address on his hat. This led him to believe that he and Harry were partners and that is why he was in the apartment. Pikachu also believes that Harry survived the crash and is still alive somewhere. The two unlikely partners begin their own investigation into Harry’s “death”.
Their first stop is to talk to one of Harry’s informants, a Mr. Mime Pokémon. Mr. Mime directs them, via miming, to an illegal underground Pokémon battle arena. The arena’s owner, Sebastian (Omar Chaparro), doesn’t know Tim, but recognizes Pikachu, who injured his Charizard in a previous battle a few weeks before. Pikachu does not recall the battle. Sebastian and Charizard want a rematch, and Pikachu is willing to fight in exchange for information if he wins.
Sebastian doses his Charizard with the purple gas, causing him to go into a violent rage. Unfortunately, Pikachu is unable to use his electrical powers to defend himself. While Tim is trying to save Pikachu from the fighting ring, he runs into Sebastian and causes the ringmaster to break all the vials of purple gas in his jacket which effects all the Pokémon in the arena. In the chaos, Tim saves Pikachu, but the arena is raided by police and Tim is taken into custody by Lieutenant Yoshida.
Once released, Tim and Pikachu are contacted by Howard Clifford (Bill Nighy), the founder of Ryme City. Howard is confined to a wheelchair due to a disability that is slowly causing Howard’s body to deteriorate. Howard tells Tim that Harry survived and was taken by an advanced form of Mewtwo, an extremely powerful Pokémon. During the abduction, Mewtwo erased Pikachu’s memory and left with Harry. Additionally, Howard warns Tim that Howard’s son Roger (Chris Geere) is responsible for the purple gas. Howard tells Tim that if they find Mewtwo, they will find Harry.
Tim and Pikachu set out to find Harry and are joined by an aspiring journalist by the name of Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton) and her Pokémon partner Psyduck. They travel to the lab facility that Harry was investigating shortly before his disappearance. The foursome discover that the facility was experimenting on Mewtwo and synthesized the purple gas from its genes. While at the facility, the foursome is attacked by genetically enhanced Greninja and Pikachu is seriously injured.
Once out of the facility, Tim asks a Bulbasaur Pokémon for a healer Pokémon. The turtle like creature leads Tim to Mewtwo, who heals Pikachu. When Tim is asking the powerful Pokémon where his father is, Roger shows up and captures Mewtwo before taking him back to Ryme City. When Pikachu awakes after being healed, he remembers that he helped Mewtwo escape from the lab and believes that he betrayed Harry. Disgusted with himself, he abandons Tim in the countryside.
While he is still in the countryside, Pikachu comes across the scene of the car crash and finds evidence that it was the Greninja, not Mewtwo, who were responsible for the crash. Pikachu rushes to find Tim to tell him what he found. Meanwhile in Ryme City, Tim goes to Howard to tell him what they found in the facility and the countryside. Howard reveals the captured Mewtwo to Tim, exposing himself as the true mastermind behind everything. Howard takes control of Mewtwo’s body using a neural link helmet that places his mind inside Mewtwo. Howard tells Tim that Mewtwo can fuse humans and Pokémon, which would allow humans to evolve just as Pokémon can. However, this merger can only happen if the Pokémon are in a confused state. That was why Howard helped create the purple gas.
Mewtwo releases the purple gas all around Ryme City and begins merging the humans with their Pokémon. Pikachu arrives in Ryme City and is finally able to use his electrical powers to fight Mewtwo while Tim fights Howard’s Ditto Pokémon, which has been impersonating Roger for much of the film. During the battle with the Ditto, Tim removes the helmet from Howard’s empty shell of a body, freeing Mewtwo and once again imprisoning Howard in his broken body.
Mewtwo flies around Ryme City and restores the city’s inhabitants to their original forms. When he comes to Tim and Pikachu, Mewtwo explains that Harry tried to save him from Howard and helped Mewtwo escape the lab. However, Harry was attacked by the Greninja and was seriously injured. Mewtwo explains that Harry’s Pikachu volunteered to have himself fused to save Harry’s life, which resulted in both individual’s memories being erased. Mewtwo separates the two and Harry (Ryan Reynolds) reunites with his estranged son. Howard is arrested, Roger hires Lucy as a full-time reporter, and Tim decides to finally live with his father and spend more time with him to make up for the time they have lost as father and son.
Additional Film Information
- Pokémon Detective Pikachu official website
- Peruse IMDb’s article on Pokémon Detective Pikachu
- Learn more Pokémon Detective Pikachu information at Wikipedia
- Get Pokémon Detective Pikachu numbers at Box Office Mojo
- Find out what people think about Pokémon Detective Pikachu at Metacritic
- Read Pokémon Detective Pikachu reviews from the folks at Rotten Tomatoes