I was pretty hyped for this movie. Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Pokémon, art design by RJ Palmer – there's a lot to love here. And then the film got generally decent reviews, praise from the likes of io9, nods from fans around the world. Even some of my colleagues loved it.
As for me? It was alright. The animation is great and the Pokémon themselves live up to the hype. Reynolds as Pikachu is brilliant and Smith is just a great actor, a real joy to watch. Their combination is reason enough to give it a watch. I liked that Mewtwo wasn't the "big bad", I liked the reveal about why this Pikachu could talk, though it did feel a little corny. Not sure I really cared about the villain or felt like the plot had much actual reasoning behind it. Things just happened in a sequence.
Pacing was a bit all over the place too, and whilst the creature design was generally great they used all the best moments in the trailer. The rest was mainly background work or action beats, of which there were many. I had hoped for more of a noir detective vibe, but it felt more Inspector Gadget. It's the best videogame movie by a long way, but it still felt like it could have been a lot better.