For those who didn’t grow up in the 90’s, the pokemon universe is a dark, twisted place where schooling is held in such contempt that parents would rather their children roamed the land attacking each other with wild animals before heading to the gym.
But enough about daily life in South London, I want to talk about detective merchandise sales because I was actually quite surprised.
Not because it’s being described as ‘the best video game movie ever because that bars so low it could be reached by each screening burning down the auditorium.
No, I was surprised because, well, this is a good film. Not a great one, but a good film in and of itself which stands alone. No setting up 15 other films or being constrained by 15 previous films but an actual good standalone film. I mean I thought they’d all gone extinct.
Its not perfect- it’s hero played by Justice Smith ( not one of Will Smiths, I checked.) Is called Tim for one, which is possibly the least heroic name ever and as such will be called Clint Thrust from this point on. Clint teams up with… erm… a female reporter who wants to prove that even though she’s really, truly, insanely badly written, she has a purpose in this film beyond pleasing creepy fanboys.
It’s not to give Clint someone to share action sequences with as that goes to the person who steals the show- Ryan Reynolds as an amnesiac, coffee addicted pikachu who promptly steals the show along with every other walking toy.
I mean pokemon.
Because the big success story of this film isn’t Clints attempts to find out what happened to his dad. It certainly isn’t trying to spot the villain (unless you’ve never seen a film before). It’s not even really the fact that this film sort of confirms that Home Alone exists in the pokemon universe.
It’s firstly the fact that this feels like a world. With a history and stories different to ours that seems to actually exist rather than being a collection of set pieces and dialogue scenes.
Secondly, despite the fact that the CGI varies from the amazing too the clearly running out of budget, the pokemon themselves are amazing, unique and colourful. Also their not so overdone as to send anyone over the age of 12 into the nearest bar for… help, which was a serious weakness of the original film. Seriously, if.your parents took you to that in the cinema, then firstly you need to call them more and secondly, you have no idea how truly, deeply loved you are because that thing is almost unwatchable.
It’s got good pacing, a few fun twists and it was a fun place to spend 100 minutes reliving my childhood.
It’s not perfect though. Not by a long shot, the first two minutes need to go. Not tinkered with or altered, they just need to go. Along with 20% of the dialogue. Giving Clint and all his friends more depth than a jelly baby that’s recently had an argument with a steamroller would be amazing. As would just one practical effect. Is that really too much to ask in a 150 million dollar film? Also, making the script seem slightly less like it had been sitting on a shelf since 1995 and then made as was wouldn’t have hurt.
Is this the best video game.movie ever? Until that doom movie comes out, yes.
Is it a masterpiece? God no. It’s a good fun diversion and an interesting , fresh look into an old property that i have no intention of ever watching again.
My Score-. If Nothing Else