Fri May 10
Pokémon Detective Pikachu wears multiple hats over the course of its 104-minute runtime. Sometimes the film is a wholesome, Spielbergian coming-of-age adventure. At other points, it’s a buddy comedy teeming with self-referential, mic drop-y in-jokes, many of which are bound to fly straight over the heads of its target demographic. Or maybe you want your Pokémon movie to be science fiction with vague sociopolitical subtext? Hey, it can do that, too! Detective Pikachu director Rob Letterman—a careerist children's filmmaker with stinkers like Shark Tale and Gulliver’s Travels to his name—mines all of these tried-and-true tropes, and a few more, to varying degrees of success. But there’s simply not enough time for the film to follow any of those threads to their conclusion. As hard as it tries, the Marvel Cinematic Universe this is not—more than anything, Detective Pikachu feels like Turner & Hooch on a combination of mescaline and speed.