Friday, May 17, 2019

Review: Detective Pikachu

Once upon a time in college, I was pretty heavily into Pokemon. The first game had just come out and I picked up the Red version and my buddy got the Blue one and we'd battle and trade and had a blast. Hell, we even watched the cartoon. As much as I enjoyed the game, I never really got into the followups to it and I moved on to other things. I still loved those OG Pokemon though and their designs.

Going into Detective Pikachu, I wondered if nostalgia would carry me through the movie or if there would be enough substance to entertain me as well as my family. I am thankful to say that in addition to the joy of seeing those Pokemon favorites rendered in lifelike CG, the story and acting carried the movie and kept us all enthralled.

In the world of Detective Pikachu, most people have a Pokemon of their own. Some are trainers that battle with them while others just keep them as pets or friends with potentially deadly abilities, such as people do. Tim Goodman, however, is not one of those people. He used to want to be a Pokemon trainer but gave up that dream and never got a Pokemon of his own, even when friends try to help him capture one. When he gets the call that his father has died in an accident, Tim travels to Ryme City, where Pokemon and people live as equals. When he stumbles upon his father's Pikachu that he can somehow understand and that his father may not be dead after all, Tim is drawn into a plot that may bring Ryme City crashing to the ground.

While the Pokemon are admittedly the draw of the movie, Justice Smith and Ryan Reynolds provide the heart of the movie as Tim and Detective Pikachu, respectively. Smith is great as Tim, a boy from a broken home who is trying to find his place in the world and regretting some of the decisions he's made in the past in terms of his father. I never though Ryan Reynolds as a wise-cracking pikachu was just what I needed the world but it turns out it hit the spot with humor that edges close to being a Deadpool-lite but never really crossing that line but still providing the laughs.

There are few bumps here and there but all in all it was a solid film that will be sure to delight Pokemon fans young and old.

Check it out.

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