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‘Detective Pikachu’ review: ‘A film that has no right being as fun as it is’

The critter-filled world's first live-action outing is worth catching.

By Will Stroude

Words: Joe Passmore

There have been many, many Pokémon movies over the years, but this month marks the first ever time we’ll see the little critters in a live action feature.

Detective Pikachu stars Ryan Reynolds as a confused, amnesia-induced fluffy little Pikcahu trying to investigate what happened to his human partner, and well known scientist Harry Goodman, and also why Harry’s son – Tim (Justice Smith) can understand what he is saying.

And Detective Pikachu has absolutely no right being as fun as it is. The script is surprisingly tight, witty and well-paced and the story is simple, but effectively entertaining and heart-warming.

Even for casual fans of the franchise, the world building here is so amazingly put together that it is a joy trying to spot every new little cameo as the adventure moves from shot to shot from Snorlax to Togepi.

Each little creature is carefully detailed and the transition from 2D cartoon to somewhat realistic CGI Pokémon is great. Not to mention a lot of them are incredibly cute.

Part of the movie is set in the “wild”, where Pokémon appear in the grass and are ready to be caught, as we know so well from the games and TV show.

But the parts of the film in Ryme City, a sprawling modern metropolis, with aspects of everywhere from London to Tokyo inspiring it, where Pokémon live in harmony alongside humans is quite spectacular to see.

Both Reynolds and Smith carry the film effortlessly, and what we’re left with is something that while not reinventing the narrative wheel, feels unique and special enough in its own way that it’ll have everyone hungry for a sequel.

Rating: 3.5/5

Detective Pikachu hits UK on Friday 10 May.