Solid CGI Effects;
With Sense Of Humor.
I was never a Pokemon kid. Not once, not ever, not even a little. I had nothing against it, but it was never my thing. But my kids love watching the old shows on Netflix and I’ll take them to any kids movie (even Sherlock Gnomes for God’s sake), so this was a no-brainer. And once it got going, I found myself really enjoying the movie for its blend of cute characters with a Hollywood story (complete with requisite twists and turns) and, of course, the voice work of Ryan Reynolds.
The world of Ryme City is one of perfect harmony between humans and Pokemon. Everyone has a Pokemon partner, save for our protagonist Tim (Justice Smith). His detective father Harry has recently died in a suspicious accident and they’ve been estranged for years due to Harry’s deep dive into detective work with his partner, Pikachu. When Tim discovers he is the only one who can perfectly understand Pikachu, they pair up to find the truth behind Harry’s accident and the case he was hot on the heels of solving.
The script accomplishes what it should, especially for something aimed just as much at the parents who grew up as players as it is at kids ready to see CGI versions of their favorite Pokemon. It is brisk and entertaining, with just enough jokes going over the heads of the youngsters for us to catch. Smith carries the dramatic weight capably, while Reynolds gives us a toned down Deadpool without the fourth wall breaks. He is responsible for most of the humor and is up for the task.
I’m unable to judge the merits of the film as a straight adaptation, and imagine that some will go into this wanting more battles, or something more like what they grew up with. But it’s not that kind of story, and it forges its own path quite well. It may fall into one too many Hollywood traps in its final act, but it’s a perfectly solid piece of family entertainment.
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