I had fun watching Detective Pikachu, a fuzzy, endearingly slimy first crack at a live action-animation hybrid from the Pokémon Company. It was a strange kind of fun though – a bit like the fun you have in being a plus-one at a wedding: a perfectly jolly, mercifully brief time out, that does also come with a nagging sense that whether or not you actually enjoyed it is irrelevant, really, because this whole thing was put together for someone else.
A lot of that, I think, is just the nature of watching kids’ films as an adult – but maybe that’s the point: I was hoping for a little bit more than that, and despite a healthy first half and promising Pokémon cameos, I never got it.
Detective Pikachu, if you’ve been paying attention, has been packaged and pushed, rather heavily, as a bit of an antidote to regular, mid-summer blandness. It’s pitched as a sort of sludgy, shamelessly millennial-baiting grotesquerie, the kind that’s been missing from video game adaptations, at least for the past couple of decades, since we all got nightmares from that ’90s Super Mario Bros. movie and decided to give it a rest. Danny DeVito isn’t giving Pikachu the Bob Hoskins treatment but Ryan Reynolds’ll do, you might be thinking, as long as he’s on Deadpool form and, as long as there’s plenty of Lickitung gunge.
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