If you are a Pokemon fan, then this is THE movie for you!
It is a movie for the rejoicing of both anime and video games alike, as this is most probably the very first consistent live-action adaptation of either. It is an engaging and speculator-friendly gem of a movie that has excellent world building without sacrificing its relatively simple narrative. Moments of the movie are particularly enthralling to the fans who have been around since the first generation – most evident being the main villain, whose first appearance in the anime is directly referenced in the way it is introduced here. New fans will not find it difficult to be engrossed in this world as it uses its initial minutes to explain all the basic tropes of the Pokemon world. Most pleasing, however, was the character designs of the headlining monsters, rendered in such a realistic manner that you would be sorely tempted to reach out and touch them, but at the same time not unrecognisable from their anime’ counterparts. I would very much amiss to call this gem of a movie flawless – the main issue being inconsistent CGI at very sporadic but clearly noticable moments and the main human lead not being particularly interesting…but my oh my did they make up for it. It would have been SO EASY to make this a dark, gritty betrayal of the silly-yet-endearing source material as well as an incredibly superficial marketing vehicle that completely abandons its roots besides its wrapping – but it has NOT. THIS is as good as a live-action Pokemon movie can get. Granted I’d have preferred more battles a la Pokemon Origins, but it is a perfect movie for new fans, especially younger ones, as well as those whose childhood these characters did grace such as I. The standout is definitely Ryan Reynolds’ Pikachu but the humour landed at just the right beats without fail to please all generations.
Finally, a massive kudos to one of my favourite DeviantArt artists Arvalis aka RJ Palmer who has been a major influence on the entire look of the movie, and responsible for making these fabuolous creatures simply come alive in ways we would only imagine.