REVIEW: Only hardcore Pokémon fans will be able to follow Detective Pikachu - for the rest it's colourful chaos

PUBLISHED: 16:01 10 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:01 10 June 2019

Detective Pikachu

Detective Pikachu

© 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Based on the Pokemon series of trading card and video games, Detective Pikachu, is the first live action Pokemon film and stars Justice Smith and the voice of Ryan Reynolds.

Based on the Pokemon series of trading card and video games, Detective Pikachu, is the first live action Pokemon film and stars Justice Smith and the voice of Ryan Reynolds.

Smith plays Tim, son of ace detective Harry Goodman, who after his father's disappearance, teams with his dad's former partner, a Pokemon called Pikachu, who only Tim can understand.

Together the pair investigate the mystery and begin to uncover a much wider conspiracy.

Pikachu is voiced by Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds who brings his trademark fast talking wit to the little yellow Pokemon. A contrast which works surprisingly well.

The world in which the film is set, where people live harmoniously alongside Pokémon, is brilliantly realised, with the live action humans blending seamlessly with their CGI counterparts amongst the sprawling cityscapes.

The Pokémon themselves are superbly animated, and fans of the games will no doubt enjoy trying to spot their favourites.

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After a largely irritating turn in last year's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Justice Smith is a surprising choice as lead, but is solid as the likeable nerd Tim.

Support comes in the form of Kathryn Newton who plays love interest Lucy, while Bill Nighy stars as billionaire business man Howard Clifford.

The excellent Ken Watanabe also features, but is sadly wasted in the cruelly underwritten part of Lieutenant Yoshida.

Taking the helm is Rob Letterman, director of 2015's entertaining Goosebumps, and together with writers Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit he crafts the film in the style of a noir mystery.

An original way to present a kids movie perhaps, but how much this style will connect with its core audience remains to be seen.

The Pokémon characters of Mr Mime and Psyduck provide some funny moments of comedy, but the film does not have not enough humour to keep the uninitiated entertained.

That problem is confounded as the film nears its conclusion and becomes ridiculously convoluted. So much so, that only hardcore Pokémon fans will be able to follow it.

A visually striking film which is far too wrapped up in its own mythology to entertain the masses. For those unversed in Pokémon lore, Detective Pikachu is just colourful chaos.

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