4/10 As someone whom collected Pokémon cards as a kid and saw a couple of the original animated movies in theaters back in the day, I wondered if this would be a nostalgia grab, something to pull in a new generation or something in between. Although this is not just a nostalgia grab or rip off of past movies, this latest Pokémon adventure ends up falling flat due to the script, plot and tone. This movie does get a few things right, however. The pacing goes by at a smooth and steady pace so we are never bored, the cinematography was surprisingly well done, the visual effects were pretty fantastic, kids will love it due to all of the cute, colorful characters and action going on and despite being tied for the worst cinematic character of last year in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”, Justice Smith is actually pretty likeable and gives a solid, emotional performance here, which I was not expecting. As for the rest of the movie, we have quite the mess on our hands. This is a PG kids movie, yet the plot is overly complicated, convoluted and dark for being aimed at children. There is a lot of exposition jammed down our throats, conveniences and plot cheats. Here is what I mean by “plot cheats”. The Pokémon Mewtwo at one point shows our lead protagonist and Pikachu a flashback of something that happened in the past. Then near the end of the movie, Mewtwo shows those same two characters what happened NEXT in that same flashback, revealing to them and the audience the truth. If Mewtwo would have just shown everything right away, which actually makes sense, we wouldn’t have had this pointless nonsense of holding off on showing certain things until more tension has been built up in the movie. It is a pretty lazy way to cheat the audience. Perhaps the biggest problem with this movie is Pikachu himself. I think Ryan Reynolds was miscast in this movie. A good film with a great performance will have the actor vanish into the role and become the character so you forget that this famous person is playing someone else. Yet the entire time as we hear Pikachu talk throughout the entire movie, all I heard was Ryan Reynolds, not Pikachu. It becomes more of a distraction and took me out of the movie. Pair that with the fact that the Pikachu character was actually pretty annoying and grating by always interrupting and talking over others and the fact that his lines that were supposed to be the catchy and clever one liners and banter, almost always fell flat. When the character whose name is in the title of the movie is your most annoying character, you’ve got a problem. Also seeing Ken Watanabe in a movie where citizens are being gassed in the streets gave me hardcore flashbacks to “Batman Begins”. There are other minor flaws (near the end of the movie Justice Smith’s character completely teleports from near the top story of a tall building into the street within seconds) but overall, it is the script that really sinks this movie. Feel free to throw it on for your kiddos (even though the plot will go way over their heads) but if you are an adult, you won’t have to be a detective to know that this movie is overall pretty clueless.
#MusicBymU2 / # TheTamingOfThePikachu / # Pokébrawl / #JigglyPuffPuffPassOnThisMovie / #DownOnYourPsyduck / #OnlyMimeWillTell