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Detective Pikachu: nostalgia only gets you so far

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It’s finally here: a live-action Pokémon film. The excitement was real.

I remember 6-year-old me playing Pokémon Blue sat by the pool on holiday transfixed by the whole poké-world – I would love to go back and tell him that in 19 years, he’d be watching the film. But, unfortunately, after watching it, I probably wouldn’t.

Detective Pikachu follows a teenager as he learns of his father’s death and realises that it’s only a small part of a much bigger poké-conspiracy. With the help of his fated partnership with Detective Pikachu (voiced very Ryan Reynolds-y by Ryan Reynolds), they dive down the rabbit hole to solve the mystery of his dad’s death.

It’s a shame that was the narrative that was chosen. Of all Pokémon strands and back catalogue, we follow a tedious Pikachu through a bustling Tokyo/London metropolis.

At first it’s cool, sure. There were murmurs of ‘Charmander’ and ‘Squirtle’ and a few gasps when everyone’s fave popped up on screen, but that nostalgia only gets you so far. You need to have an interesting narrative to back it up.

Build a world where we want to be with these Pokémon – not in some weird city where humans and Pokemon can’t understand each other. How can a city work like that? It’s like a narrative written by the BNP about a supposed immigration crisis (or is that a bit of a stretch?).

So after you get over the Pokémon and deal with scenes of ‘just about’ acting, you sludge through a linear storyline that tries so hard to make Pokémon real, it forgets what to do once it gets you there.

There wasn’t a single scene where dialogue could be enthralling or even have a chance to just ‘be’ without being interrupted by Ryan Reynolds ‘wit’ and character – brought in purely to fill gaps in narrative in the laziest way possible.

Rita Ora’s character unconvincingly plays a scientist that doesn’t do much science, but instead explains to the viewer verbatim what we may have missed, so there’s no illusion before we continue.

Detective Pikachu is lazy – beyond the CGI and I’m truly let down. Sure, ok, I’d let 6-year-old me watch it, but he’d enjoy it because he’s a moron.

Also, to the person saying “It had no business being that good!” What are you smoking, please? Did you do shrooms like Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd In Knocked up before coming here?

And of course, there’s probably going to be a sequel. Of course there will.

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