2.5/4

Pokémon Detective Pikachu [2019] ★★½

It’s hard to turn any video game into a big budget Hollywood movie, let alone a phenomenon like “Pokémon“, but “Detective Pikachu” almost manages to pull it off. I say “almost” because up to a chaotic climax, the movie kept me entertained with its fun premise, beautiful visual effects, and a dazzling array of colorful Pokémon that made a happy kid out of me. I grew up with the original Gameboy games and for as long as I can remember, the trading cards were always something that I enjoyed collecting. But I had no idea how a live-action film would turn out to be. The good news is that Pokémon fans will get a kick out of it, at least for a while. The story focuses on a 21-year-old boy (Justice Smith) who is investigating the mysterious death of his father. His partner? Detective Pikachu, of course, who happens to sound and act like Ryan Reynolds. This bizarre premise wouldn’t work as much as it does if it weren’t for Reynolds’ charismatic voice. I just wish the story itself had more surprises up its sleeve. Still, there’s plenty to enjoy here, from Reynold’s often hilarious one liners to Bill Nighy’s over the top performance as Howard Clifford, the master planner of Ryme City, a place he believe could be the next evolution in human-Pokémon relationships. If this doesn’t appeal to you, stay away from “Detective Pikachu”. But if you’re a long-time Pokémon fan, you’ll have a good time with it.

 

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