Monday, 19 August 2019

Pokémon Detective Pikachu: Blu Ray Review

Pokémon Detective Pikachu: Blu Ray Review 

How you feel about the family friendly Pokémon Detective Pikachu will depend largely on how you feel about the crazed cult of Pokémon.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu: Film Review

The uninitiated may struggle with the film, which is set in a world where both Pokémon and humans co-exist, thanks to the benevolent Howard Clifford (Nighy) who believes co-existence and betterment is possible.

One who doesn't agree is 21-year-old Tim (an awkward Justice Smith) who resents the Pokémon and refuses to be paired up with them like others. When he discovers his dad is missing after a car accident, Tim goes to Ryme City, the hub of the human Pokémon harmony, and ends up working with Ryan Reynolds' Pikachu to try and solve the case.

If you're a Pokémon fan, you will adore this film, packed as it is with creatures from the cards and the TV series, and no doubt riddled with Easter eggs.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu: Film Review

But, to be honest, for all others, it's kind of middling, narratively flat fare that's more about its nostalgia than a degree of coherence, and its plot is saddled with exposition for character development and sees a lurching plot stop and start while someone drops reams of necessary explanation.

There are elements of everything that's gone before here, with a Zootopia mesh, some Roger Rabbit hating of the opposites, X-Men, a film of fathers and sons and other all-too familiar sci-fi DNA tropes that can be seen a mile off. It unfortunately cripples part of the movie, as you can see what's coming before it hits, lacking weight and heft when it should.

In fairness, Ryme City is wonderfully realised, a kind of cartoony Blade Runner cityscape that shows the co-existence with ease. And Reynolds' trademark motormouth may be dialled down this time, but it still gives the over-caffeinated Pikachu some much needed laughs here and there. The buddy cop relationship between Pikachu and Tim makes for amiable fare as well.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu: Film Review

But Pokémon Detective Pikachu lacks the noir edges it's clearly aspiring to, saddling everything with heavy flashbacks early on to paint the portraits and relying on audience love and nostalgia to forego the repetitive simplicities of the plot. And that could be fatal, seeing as newer audiences are what will continue this series.

In truth, Pokémon Detective Pikachu is less gumshoe, more candy coloured gum stuck to your cinematic shoe. The series' refrain may be that you "gotta catch them all", but if you're not in the in-crowd, you should be happy to let this one go free. 

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