Elementary, my dear Pikachu

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu

Starring Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith and Kathryn Newton

Rated PG

Based on the 2016 video game of the same name, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu is a cute yet often-heartbreaking fantasy comedy.

In a world full of magical creatures called Pokemon, Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), a former

Pokemon trainer, teams up with a plucky talking Pikachu (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) to investigate a conspiracy concerning Tim’s missing father.

No prior knowledge of Pokemon is required; in fact, Detective Pikachu is surprisingly grounded for a film about the exploits of a wisecracking electric mouse.

Reynolds combines sensitive pathos with his trademark lightning-fast wit, and Smith is deeply engaging as a melancholic yet driven young man who is torn between finding his estranged father and letting go of his lonely past.

Beyond the charming dynamic between Tim and Pikachu, the film has a vibrant setting, wonderfully expressive CGI for its creatures and an engrossing, well-paced plot.

Tim and Pikachu’s investigation and their budding friendship develop hand-in-hand, and the narrative delivers a steady trail of intriguing clues, features clever foreshadowing and builds toward some genuinely surprising twists.

The action set-pieces are creatively-staged and achieve a slapstick feel while still maintaining a strong sense of peril.

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu is a whimsical but deeply moving and well-structured adventure.

– Seth Lukas Hynes

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