Movie #113 2020: Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)

Here’s the thing, no matter what your views on Pokémon are, you have to admit that it’s a super creative concept.

Cute, little (and sometimes not so little) creatures that can be caught and used in battle. Pokémon gyms where you can go to train them. Entire universes of worlds of places with names like Pewter City, Pallet Town, and Vermilion City. There is genuinely nothing else like it, and it was conceived of with such imagination that you have to admire it, even if you’re not a fan of Pokémon itself.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu is like nothing else within the entire franchise, and it seems totally out in left field when it comes to the rest of their mantra. There’s no Ash Ketchum, no training sequences, no Pallet Town, no Misty or Brock or Professor Oak… It’s completely out of the ordinary before we even get to the point that Pikachu is a talking detective.

I have to admit though, the majority of the time, it actually works! Although I can’t stand Ryan Reynolds on a deeply spiritual level, the fact that he only lends his voice to this (as Pikachu) made me look past that for the most part.

This is a very enjoyable family film. Its plot is twisty, entertaining, and completely unique. I say unique even though it is part of a franchise that has been going for 25 years now, so that’s quite an achievement in and of itself.

Detective Pikachu is by no means a masterpiece in any sense of the word. But what it most definitely is is fun. Seeing the Pokémon themselves in all their furry 3D glory is so great to watch. The way the characters are animated made me think of the new Sonic the Hedgehog movie now I think about it. Remember all that controversy when the animators of that movie made Sonic look scary and weird? Well it seems like they looked at this movie as a way to fix it. And the fact is that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That’s right, the animation in Detective Pikachu is nothing short of perfect.

Although this movie doesn’t include my favourite of the Pokémon human characters (Team Rocket, obviously), it does bring back a familiar face in the form of Mewtwo. Mewtwo continues to be the most interesting thing about this entire franchise in my opinion, so you’ve always got room for an interesting plot when he’s at the centre of it.

All in all, if you don’t take this movie too seriously then you’ll have a blast. When you’re running out of things to watch on Disney+, make this next on your list, especially if you have children between the ages of five and twelve.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu is available to stream on Sky Cinema and NowTV in the UK.

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