Nostalgia-inducing Pokemon coupled with an amazing blend of graphics and sharp attention to detail, makes it a good watch. However, has it lived up to the hype and expectations? Find out!
By Vanshika Devuni Kalanidhi
Review rating: 3.5/5
Movie rating: PG
I remember my Pokemon phase. I used to scour YouTube for episodes of this much-loved children’s character, and I would look up fan theories and try to draw my favourite Pokemon. I’ll have to admit that this was mostly to show the boys that I was “different from the other girls” and “not into that Barbie stuff” (now I see how flawed my reasons were). Nevertheless, I loved Pokemon, and even though I’m not a super fan, I got really hyped up for this movie.
Tim Goodman, son of the (seemingly) dead Harry Goodman, teams up with a curious overly-caffeinated Pikachu to learn the truth about what happened to his dad. On the way, he discovers the ‘R’ chemical, which makes Pokemon increasingly hostile if consumed. With the help of an ambitious journalist, Lucy Stevens, they attempt to uncover the interconnected mystery of the R drug, the escape of Mewtwo, and the alleged death of Harry Goodman.
I don’t know if the super fans who’ve watched every episode, collected every card and played every game would agree with me, but this was pretty good! Maybe not groundbreaking or extraordinary, but it was good! It was funny, silly and wholesome. I loved watching my early-childhood memories back again, and this time with better animation.
I really must appreciate the animators who worked on this. They captured Pokemon beautifully with their art. Pikachu was cute and photorealistic. I was fascinated by one scene where Pikachu gets hurt, because it looked like I could see every individual strand of fur Pikachu had, and that’s brilliant! I also love how they made us differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys. All the Pokemon were cute and fluffy. Nothing cute or fluffy about Mewtwo, though!
Another thing I love about the movie’s visuals is the lighting. The animation was very careful about the various kinds of lights that were used. They perfectly animated it - the bright florescent lights of the Pokemon battle, the neon light in the streets, the street lights at the fountain, it was delightful! (I loved the part where Magicarp evolves into Gyarados).
Justice Smith was great as Tim Goodman, and he brought out Tim’s awkwardness and irritability perfectly. Ryan Reynolds was also amazing as Pikachu, channelling sass and humour to his character. Quite a difference from the passive-agressive OG Pikachu we know from the anime.
One flaw this movie had was that it tried to introduce way too many bad guys toward the end of the story. I have no idea what Roger Clifford was doing, and I didn’t know if he’s a good guy or not. The movie also didn’t have that ‘wow’ factor I was expecting. As an extension to a widely-beloved franchise that’s been around since 1996, I was expecting something better that would leave me mesmerised and speechless. It didn't do that for me. Although it is a good movie, it does not live up to my expectations (but does come close).
This movie might be better suited for people who’ve watched at least a season of the anime. I’m sure newbies to the franchise can also follow the plot to some extent. Even if you don’t follow the lot, you’ll be fascinated by the visuals and squealing over Pikachu’s cuteness (although he wouldn’t approve of that). Watch this movie, you won’t regret it!
We interrupt this review with a quick segment of “grandma reviews”!
(all translated from Kannada)
“yeah it was okay”
Thank you! Back to your regular review! Tune in next time, folks!
The author is a writer/blogger who blogs at www.vanshikadevuni.blogspot.com
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