Movie review: Pokemon Detective Pikachu

10 May 2019 / 11:27 H.

THIS is a movie that any red-blooded Pokemon fan will go just to see how a live-action Pokemon looks like. For that, Pokemon Detective Pikachu delivers in spades.

You can see Pokemon in the city and in towns, living alongside humans, and even in the wild.

The rendering of each Pokemon in the movie looks excellent. It spans from the cute and furry Pikachu, to the surreal Lickitung.

Many of the Pokemon serve as fan service, and that is what this movie does best – fan service.

When it comes to the story, it is a mixed bag. There is an exciting core story with enough drama and intrigue to hold its own, as long as you don’t overthink about how the world of Pokemon works.

However, much like the 2018 Nintendo 3DS game which inspired the film, the way the plot is told could have used a little more polish.

The first third of the movie feels like a live-action cartoon. Characters behave like maniacs, the world building is told instead of shown, and most of the scenes focus on character reactions. It’s attention grabbing and childish, but ultimately hollow.

Pokemon Detective Pikachu actually only kicks into gear in the second and third acts. It feels like a different writer has taken over the reins and steered the movie into more serious and unpredictable territory – where it should have been from the start.

Here is where we start to learn more about the characters and begin to actually like them.

Tim Goodman (Smith) was a small-town boy who had to pick himself up and step into the big city when he got news that his father was involved in a fatal accident. The death of his mother when he was a child had disillusioned him from Pokemon and a better life.

With his dad gone, Tim has to pick up the pieces of his father’s life as a private detective in a city designed for humans and Pokemon to cohabitate in harmony.

All Tim has to help him find out the truth about his father’s death is his dad’s talking Pikachu – who only Tim can understand –and a vile of a chemical known as ‘R’.

Reynolds voices Pikachu and brings on all the child-friendly wit and charm he can muster.

He is excellent as the mouse Pokemon and totally reminds me of Deadpool, but personally, Lucy Stevens (Newton)’s Psyduck comes off as the star Pokemon in the movie to me, and it doesn’t even talk!

Most fans will not have a problem with the P13 rating the film got in Malaysia, but children aged 13 and under will need parental or guardian supervision to watch Pokemon Detective Pikachu.

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