Pokemon: Detective Pikachu might not be perfect but it does a number of things well, like making people want to live in a world filled with these wonderful creatures. There are also some fun themes that the film does well, which the movie’s writers have discussed. Aside from making fans love Pokemon again, the movie also reminds people to be good fathers and good sons, which is something people can easily be unaware of.
Speaking with CBR, Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit stated that they’re hoping the themes of fathers and sons resonates with people since it’s a major focus of the film. Tim Goodman was estranged from his father sometime before the story’s events and it’s up to him and Pikachu to find him, maybe even try to rekindle a broken relationship.
"The father-son thing was something we honed in on to tap into some real emotions. And not just with Tim and Harry, right? You see it with Howard Clifford and his son, Roger, too. Just as Tim felt Harry wasn't there for him, by the end, Roger feels he wasn't there for his father."
"We had to find real emotions to draw people in and get them to care about these characters and the story. And the changing relationships between fathers and sons fed into the theme of evolution, which we felt was central to Pokemon overall. Look at [antagonist] Howard's plan: to combine human and Pokemon as a means of evolution. So that was another big theme in the story."
You could argue that the film clumsily executes its themes but at least it has some entertaining set pieces and fun dialogue. The Pokemon also have a lot of character, especially Pikachu, so it’s not a half-hearted cash-grab. It’s a passionate cash-grab.
Pokemon: Detective Pikachu is now showing in cinemas.