Quickie Review: Pokémon Detective Pikachu

Who am I kidding? I don’t know a Pikachu from a Wigglytuff from a Psyduck. If you do, then Pokémon Detective Pikachu is probably a safe bet for 100 minutes of harmless entertainment suitable for family viewing. Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) lends his voice to what is apparently the iconic face of the Pokémon phenomenon, Pikachu, in the first-ever live action Pokémon adventure. It features human and Pokémon characters working together to solve the mysterious disappearance of ace detective Harry Goodman and foil an evil plot to destroy the peaceful co-existence of humans and Pokémon (Pokémons?) in the sprawling metropolis known as Ryme City.

The story centers around the dynamic between Goodman’s son Tim (Justice Smith, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Paper Towns) and his wise-cracking, amnesiac, talking Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu (Reynolds). Not surprisingly, Pikachu comes off like a PG-rated Deadpool, which makes this kid flick a bit more entertaining for the adults in the room.

I never played the Pokémon video game and never got swept into the ‘Pokemon Go’ cellphone obsession. So I’m sure that lack of experience took a toll on my ultimate appreciation for the various quirky creatures paired with humans in the movie. That being said, I didn’t dislike it, thanks in large part… in huge part, actually… to the presence, such as it were, of Ryan Reynolds as Detective Pikachu. He’s just plain endearing in all forms – human, superhero and Pokémon. I don’t think this movie would have worked nearly as well – or at all – without him. As Pikachu would say, “I can feel it in my jellies.”

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