Grown up and disenchanted by the world of Pokémon, Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) reluctantly helps a talking Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) solve the mystery of his past.
In a word, this movie is nostalgic. Anyone who grew up with Pokémon is going to love it; the world everyone wished existed is finally real. Pokémon GO! doesn’t have anything on the world created for this movie.
This movie is also refreshing because it doesn’t involve the characters from the anime. There’s nothing wrong with Ash Ketchum, but this story expands the Pokémon universe and gives it more depth so that anyone can enjoy it. It doesn’t feel like a movie just for kids. The only hint of the anime is Kathryn Newton’s character, Lucy Stevens. She’s an investigative journalist willing to do anything for a story. Oh, and she has a Psyduck. That has “Misty” written all over it.
The Pokémon battle scenes were entertaining, of course – what’s a Pokémon movie without a battle or two anyway? However, they also triggered a sort of social commentary. If Pokémon are domesticated, as they are in the region where the movie takes place, can they still use their powers? And if they’re not able to, is that fair to them? They were originally used for battle, after all. Living in harmony with Pokémon sounds nice, and they are considered companions, but what good is that if they can’t do what they’re meant to do?
In these questions lie the plot twists. Two plot twists, actually. Two major plot twists that the audience won’t see coming. Because Ryan Reynolds’s Pikachu absolutely steals the show. His humor is clever and perfectly timed.
If there’s a Memory Lane 2.0, this movie is it.