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  1. Published on: 11/08/2019 05:37 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: In a world where Pokemon live among humans, a boy comes across a unique Pikachu that could be the source in finding the reason for his father's death.

    My Pokemon memories are pretty strong as I was probably at the perfect age when this became popular in the UK.

    I remember having the whole trading cards, playing the video games, watching the TV show and even seeing watching the first film.
    But in terms going beyond the original Pokemon, my knowledge is non-existent.

    When I first heard about this film, the choice in story confused and worried me. Doing something called Detective Pikachu sounded more like an April Fool's joke then a genuine film project. The initial trailer had me more worried with some of the decisions being made that they showed in the teaser. However, the buzz seemed strong and the later trailer were beginning to turn me expectations as I could feel a good vibe around it.

    This managed to be a super fun ride and may well be one of the most fun films of the year.
    It lays the ground work well for a detective story which is a refreshing site to see as it's a genre that is rarely shown on screen these days, especially for a major mainstream release. A lot of it had a similar vibe to Who Framed Roger Rabbit and I'm happy if this was this generations version of this type of story.
    Then it manages to explain itself well for some of the decisions made that were shown in the trailer that I was most skeptical about. It made good enough sense for me and it left me to enjoy the rest of the story, and I did in the best way possible.
    There was plenty of comedic moments that made great use of some of the Pokemon abilities and made for a satisfying final act.

    I know a lot of people feel Pokemon is a bit of nice pop culture. Bit the way they execute the story and Pokemon lore and mythology does enough to explain to novices whilst also not patronising the hardcore fans that makes it feel more like a tutorial. On paper, that sounds like a tough task. But props to director Rob Letterman, his large writing team and the rest of the crew for making that aspect work so so well.

    As for the performances, they did a perfectly fine job that fitted the tone perfectly. I was really pleased to see Justice Smith not only give a good performance, but hold the film throughout. I did not like what he was given to do in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom at all. So I was so happy to see his talent shine through and become a memorable part of the film. His chemistry with Ryan Reynolds worked and was consistently entertaining. Reynolds' performance may be almost identical to his Deadpool character, but it is more of a PG friendly version that the whole family can enjoy.
    Don't really have much to say about the other performances. Kathryn Newton and Bill Nighy may have been integral characters. But they were just fine, nothing more than that.

    I was not expecting the writing to make to be one of the films biggest positive. But it did. It moves the story along nicely, it develops many characters with solid story-archs and the comedic moments are strong and constant.
    Other notable positives were the production design and visual effects. The general look of the film was amazingly not to different to Blade Runner. The neo lights that light up the night and the almost grungy look had me thinking of nothing else, which really surprised me.
    As the visual effects, they felt pretty seamless with the live-action which was another comparison to Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I was pleased at how the designs of the Pokemon looked in the finished product and blended so well with everything else.

    There was negative to say about the film. but I think the narrative wasn't particularly strong or original. It's definitely a story we've seen plenty of times.
    But I think the solid execution of this familiar structure prevented it from being a major negative.

    This ended up being so much better than I expected and could be one of the surprises of the year for me. It may move along to something you can kind of predict. But it executes all those regular tropes to an entertaining level that makes it instantly re-watchable.
    The characters are engaging, the pacing is pretty swift, there are plenty of laughs, there is enough of a spectacle vibe about it and the imagery is pleasing to the eye.

    Whether you know Pokemon or not, I feel you can still enough enjoyment out of this to have a fun viewing experience.
    As a Pokemon fan myself, I must mention that the first half of the end credits were great to not only watch but listen as they play a piece of music that certainly brought back some memories.

    Rating: 7/10

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