Pokemon Detective Pikachu Movie Review - Fitfully amusing Nintendo-manga fantasy

Published: May 09, 2019, 15:24 IST | Johnson Thomas | Mumbai

The narrative may not have the consistent playful energy of a Shazam but Pikachu's cuteness overload more than makes up for the inconsistency in humour and tempo.

Still from the trailer
Still from the trailer

Pokemon Detective Pikachu

U/A:  Animation, Action, Adventure
Director: Rob Letterman
Cast: Ken Watanabe, Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton
Rating: Ratings

An interestingly exaggerated, whimsical, Pokemon infested world comes alive with 'Pokemon Detective Pikachu' set in Ryme City, a neon-glitzy world in which humans and Pokemon co-exist in relative harmony. Director and co-writer Rob Letterman's cinematic sensibilities combine well with Ryan Reynolds' deadpan sarcasm –paving the way for a fitfully engaging experience. The narrative may not have the consistent playful energy of a 'Shazam,' but Pikachu's cuteness overload more than makes up for the inconsistency in humour and tempo. There's enough visual Pokemon referencing here combined with bits and pieces of origin history to please the fans as well as those new to the world of Japanese video game, anime-manga franchise.

The narrative borrows its plot points from the 2016 Nintendo game - centering around Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), nerdy 21-year-old son of a private investigator who is believed to have perished in a suspicious car crash. Upon arriving in Ryme City and encountering some strange phenomenon linked to a vial emanating purple colored gas, Tim meets his Dad's former partner, a fuzzy yellow Pikachu (Reynolds), Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton), an ambitious intern of a cub reporter, Howard Clifford (Bill Nighy) the visionary behind Ryme City,and a rather clueless police detective(Ken Watanabe).

Check out the trailer here:

Production designer Nigel Phelps' vision is inspired while John Mathieson's cinematography looks too grey toned to be lively and exciting. The script, credited to Letterman along with Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit and Derek Connolly, from a story by Nicole Perlman, isn't a smoothly flowing composite of comedy, action, sci-fi and drama. Every bit comes at you in parts that don't measure up to a wholesome, convincing engagement. Of course, there are several moments that the Pokemon fan will surely cherish - including the presence of Bulbasaurs, stressed-out Psyducks, mime Pokemon, Jigglypuff, Charizard, Machamps, Charmanders, Mewtwo and Live, moving forests. And that's exactly why this film will get a fairly enthusiastic kiddie audience!

Also Read: Rita Ora joins Detective Pikachu

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