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Sun, Aug. 18

Bring the kids and load up the popcorn for ‘Pokemon Detective Pikachu’

Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Detective Pikachu in “Pokemon Detective Pikachu.” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Detective Pikachu in “Pokemon Detective Pikachu.” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

If you're a Pokemon fan from the years ago fad, you'll have a better understanding of the characters in this film. If you're not a Pokemon fan and have no idea what a Pokemon is, I think you'll still enjoy “Pokemon Detective Pikachu.” Not many films translate well from video or card games, but the story here and the avoidance of the complexities of various Pokemon characters is simple to follow.

Basically, Pokemon is a population of characters that have varied and different characteristics that were originally used to pit one Pokemon against another Pokemon. Each character's abilities would be the determining factor as to who wins. The video and card game are based on these competitions. A Pokemon is captured by throwing a particular ball at it. If the Pokemon is willing, then you capture it inside the ball. The Pokemon is yours to do battle with against other Pokemon.

The movie begins with the idea of creating a city where Pokemon and humans live and work together, without the Pokemon vs. Pokemon battles. Our main character, Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), is a young 20-something, estranged from his father, works as an insurance adjuster and is unusual in that he does not have a Pokemon partner. Goodman gets word his detective father died in a car crash and goes to where his dad worked and is allowed to see traffic-camera video of the crash.

He gets the keys and address to his dad's apartment and runs into his father's Pokemon: Pikachu. He’s amazed he completely understands what Pikachu is saying because no one else understands their Pokemon's language.

In a crowded outside market, Goodman is walking and conversing with Pikachu when he asks a passerby if they understand Pikachu. Point of view is changed and all the passerby hears is “Pika Pika.” Pikachu is voiced by Ryan Reynolds.

It's Reynolds' voice that carries the film. His innate ability of comedic timing, smart remarks and cynicism will get you to laugh, chuckle and smile. Turns out there's a whole conspiracy going on where there is an effort to merge Pokemon with their human counterparts.

There's a lot of creativity involved in creating the imagery of the Pokemon city and the various (probably familiar to Pokemon fans) Pokemon characters strolling around the city. Although the movie may be geared toward children (colorful imagery and high-pitched tones), the story is simple enough to follow. No need to worry if the younger ones don't follow the plot, they'll be following Pikachu and the other Pokemon characters. The human characters are believable. The interaction between CGI Pokemon characters and human characters is seamless.

I won't reveal why Goodman could understand Pikachu. That is revealed at the end of the movie. If it wasn't for Ryan Reynolds, I don't think the movie would be as fun. The movie is rated PG because of the fighting (no graphic violence) and some suggestive humor. Bring the kids and load up on the popcorn. The movie runs an easy 105 minutes.

I'll give Pokemon Detective Pikachu 4 out of 5 Miners.


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