Netflix Gets The Best Sci-Fi Blockbuster Video Game Adaptation Ever

By Jacob VanGundy | Published

While live-action videogame movies have historically had a bad reputation, they have started to change in recent years due to high-quality adaptations like Detective Pikachu. That movie is now available to stream on Netflix, making it more accessible than ever for those who missed it in theaters. Using the popular world of Pokémon as a setting, the Hollywood film tells an action-adventure detective story that’s fun from start to finish. 

A Different Type Of Pokemon Movie

Detective Pikachu’s human hero is Tim, a wannabe Pokémon trainer living in Ryme City, where Pokémon live in harmony with humans. After his father, Harry, a police detective, mysteriously disappears and is declared dead, Tim meets a Pikachu who can speak, though only Tim can understand him. Tim and the sentient Pokémon team up to investigate Harry’s disappearance and a mysterious gas that is turning Pokémon around the city rabid.

A Talented Cast

One of the keys to the success of Detective Pikachu is its A-list cast of beloved actors. Rising star Justice Smith plays Tim and has great chemistry with his CGI co-lead voiced by superstar Ryan Reynolds. The supporting cast is also full of great actors and big names including Kathryn Newton, Ken Watanabe, Bill Nighy, and Rita Ora. 

A Blockbuster Even Critics Had To Respect

Detective Pikachu was a huge hit when it came out in theaters back in 2019. It made $450 million at the box office, making a substantial profit even with its $150 million budget. With family-friendly humor, incredible CGI, and solid writing it also won many critics over, earning a 68 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, which is abnormally high for a video game movie. 

A Reminder That Pokemon Is The Biggest Franchise In The World

Naturally, the immense popularity of Pokémon played a big part in the success of Detective Pikachu. While it began as a monster-collecting RPG on the Nintendo Game Boy, Pokémon has grown into the biggest intellectual property in the world. With the continued success of the games, multiple anime and manga adaptations, and merch, a hit Hollywood movie is just the latest in a string of successes for the multi-media juggernaut. 

Perfect For Fans And Newbies Alike

Unlike many video game adaptations, Detective Pikachu is a movie that works both for long-time Pokémon fans and newcomers who’ve never touched the games.

By abandoning the battle-focused formula that defines the mainline Pokémon games and turning the story into a mystery, it manages to tell a story that feels fresh inside the established universe. While seeing their favorite Pokémon appear on screen will delight fans, no prior knowledge or lore is needed to follow the movie’s plot. 

Available On Netflix

Detective Pikachu is also a well-made movie, with genuinely good jokes and some of the best visual effects ever made. Scenes like the interrogation of Mr. Mime, complete with mimed torture from the protagonists, are memorable and hilarious. Meanwhile, the Pokémon themselves are an amazing display of CGI that the movie eagerly shows off with long establishing shots full of the creatures. 

Whether you grew up with Pokémon or not Detective Pikachu is a great, family-friendly adventure movie. Whether you’re a fan of sci-fi, detective stories, or Pokémon, there’s something in the film for just about everyone. Stream Detective Pikachu on Netflix to see the absolute best video game movie.