Pokémon Detective Pikachu ★★½

For any Pokémon fan, this is absolutely and unapologetically drool-worthy fan-service, pandering to blatant exposition on the level of Ready Player One. Detective Pikachu, however, at least has the decency to tastefully respect the legacy of its lore and its Pokémon, giving each and a strangely unique and hypnotically otherworldly visual effect (a particularly noticeable feat in 3D). Even if thematically muddled and almost decimated by a laughable final act, Detective Pikachu aims to be a crowd-pleaser for Pokémon fans, and that is exactly for whom it is intended. The ooooh’s and ahhhh’s of seeing our favorite Pokémon recreated so imaginatively after so long is nostalgia in its purest form. (It may have also helped that I received a pack of real Pokémon trading cards for the first time in over 20 years when walking into the theater.) While it may not amount to a very well told or memorable film, Detective Pikachu is a pleasant reminder that there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the time we spend with old friends.

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