Pokemon Detective Pikachu (2019)

I was in the mood for something light and I was reminded of the trailer of the new Pokemon movie which was quite a bit of fun. So I watched the actual feature film. I’m aware, although I hardly paid close attention, that Pokemon is a video game but I don’t know much about it. I relied on the film I saw (2019) (which seems to be an adaptation of the game). It did fill me in with this and that, but most interestingly every human in Rhyme City has a Pokemon,

maybe like how people have pets. Followers of the game will no doubt get more out of the film which does go into more detail on Pokemon lore. I went into the movie as your average moviegoer who wanted something light and fun. And in this it delivers.

Pokemons, who come in all shapes and sizes and of varying special abilities, exist side by side humans in Rhyme City where they aren’t used or misunderstood. Ryan Reynolds provides funny wisecracks as the title character. Reynolds voices a Pokemon called Pikachu, who is a detective less than a foot tall, like a yellow ‘ball of fluff’ with eyes, nose and big ears, and feet, who has special abilities that can get him out of a spot of bother. Pikachu gets all the laughs and so delivers the film’s humour in large and small doses.

The little detective comes into life of Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) a young man who seems to have lost his father, Harry, in an accident. Something nefarious may be at work, so as the straight man, Tim goes with Pikachu on a mystery trail sniffing out clues that lead them into the presence of otherwise abled Howard Clifford (Bill Nighy), an older man at the top of the company ladder, and his son, Roger Clifford (Chris Geere), who appears to be villainous, while junior reporter Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton) has some leads on the mystery of what happened to Tim’s Dad…

A lot of the details aren’t worth remembering though, except for fans. And sometimes it’s hard to follow what exactly happened, for this reviewer at least.

But it is a lot of fun that kids, and adults, should enjoy. Visual inventiveness is here and the Pokemon world is spellbinding, it even may ‘do your head in’, but not quite, it is nevertheless not too much of a mind bend.

There’s the final act showdown in a special effects frenzy and Pikachu and his buddy on the road have great chemistry, even if one of them is CGI. The message for kids is that your father always loves you and the message for fathers is to take your son on an adventure that he’ll never forget. Certainly, boys will want to see this film, and Dad may be there with them.  

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

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