Pokémon Detective Pikachu

Film, Animation Now showing
3 out of 5 stars
Pokémon Detective Pikachu

This madcap Pokémon adaptation is a tonne of fun until ponderous plotting replaces the anarchy with something you’ve seen a hundred times before.

If you know your Psyduck from your Squirtle, this one may already be on your most-anticipated list for the year. For Pokémon devotees, it ticks all the boxes, from the moment it opens with a grazing Cubone (a pocket monster who wears a skull as a hat – cuter than it sounds) and introduces Ryme City, a place where humans and Pokémon live in harmonious incomprehension. If you aren’t one of those people, imagine watching ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ after a PCP binge and you’ll get the idea.

The dense plot involves genetically mutated Pokémon, a Spielberg-y missing dad and a sinister corporation. Into the mix comes loner Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), who discovers he can talk to Pikachu, the ex-partner of his missing cop dad. Ryan Reynolds provides the furry sleuth’s voice and has a ball, chucking around inappropriate one-liners (‘Are you going to make me into a lampshade?’) with giddy abandon.

If the final act is a bit dull and the anarchic Reynolds factor ends up muzzled, director Rob Letterman makes sure not to lose that self-aware edge altogether, while providing enough Pokémon Easter eggs to satisfy the most demanding fan. He’s also helped invent a whole new movie genre: cuddly noir. 

By: Phil de Semlyen


Release details

Release date:
Friday May 10 2019
104 mins

Cast and crew

Rob Letterman
Benji Samit, Dan Hernandez, Derek Connolly, Rob Letterman
Justice Smith
Bill Nighy
Ken Watanabe

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