Justice Smith as Tim Goodman. PA Photo/Legendary/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc./Giles Keyte
Pokemon Detective Pikachu (PG)***
Dir: Rob Letterman
With: Justice Smith, Ryan Reynolds (voice), Bill Nighy
Runtime: 104 minutes
WERE you a Pokemon child? No, me neither. Then prepare to spend 104 slightly confused but enjoyable minutes in the company of a tiny, yellow furry creature who talks like Ryan Reynolds playing Sam Spade.
Here’s the deal. Young Tim (Justice Smith) receives some bad news: his detective father has died in a crash. Tim has to go to Ryme City, where everyone has their own Pokemon partner-creature, to collect his father’s effects. There, he meets Pikachu, dad’s police partner. According to Pikachu, the death has left a lot of questions unanswered, but his memory has been all but wiped. Can son fill dad’s shoes and help Pikachu solve the mystery?
A team of writers ensures the gags keep coming, and who doesn’t love to hear Ryan Reynolds, old Deadpool himself, being endlessly sarky but strangely endearing? A ridiculously long and scrappy third act aside, director Rob Letterman (Shark Tale) keeps a tight rein on things, and Smith (Jurassic World) is clearly going places.