Page 20

movies movies 20 | EXPRESS | 05.10.2019 | WEEKEND

Hopefully “Detective Pikachu” solves the mystery of where this fella got that adorable little deerstalker hat.

A soft-boiled mystery

The visually dazzling ‘Pokemon Detective Pikachu’ gently plays with film noir tropes

FILM REVIEW It may be surprising, to put it mildly, to read a review of “Pokemon Detective Pikachu” that also mentions “Blade Runner.” (More on this later.) But in a world where goldfish turn into dragons and baby dinosaurs walk the streets with tails aflame, stranger things have been known to happen. For the uninitiated, Pokemon are mythical creatures with special abilities. Working with human trainers, they battle one another for supremacy. The phenomenon started in the 1990s with video games, evolving into a cartoon series, a card game and eventually the ever-present cultural juggernaut it is today. “Detective Pikachu,” the first live-action/animated entry in

the Pokemon canon, takes the creatures out of the ring and puts them on the streets of a place called Ryme City, where Pokemon and people live together in relative harmony. The story starts outside the city limits, with Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), a 22-year-old insurance adjuster who has given up his dream of becoming a champion Pokemon trainer. After the death of his father in a mysterious accident, Tim heads to Ryme City to set his dad’s affairs in order, only to discover an amnesiac Pokemon lurking in his father’s office: the yellow critter known as Pikachu. Though Pokemon can normally only articulate variations of their own names — e.g., pika pika — this

‘Pokemon Detective Pikachu’ (PG, 104 min.) DIRECTOR: Rob Letterman STARS: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Bill Nighy IN A NUTSHELL: A failed Pokemon trainer tries to get to the bottom of his father’s death with the help of Pikachu’s investigative prowess.

particular specimen (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) can talk, and he convinces Tim to try to get to the bottom of his father’s death. Here’s where “Blade Runner” comes in. Just as Ridley Scott created a film-noir vision of the future — all neon lights and crowded streets — director

Rob Letterman has rendered a dizzyingly complex and visually dazzling Ryme City. The movie embraces other noir tropes as well, down to the snappy dialogue and trenchcoat-clad femme (not quite) fatale: a BuzzFeed-style journalist (Kathryn Newton). It’s a clever kind of worldbuilding. Although the screenplay isn’t terribly innovative, Smith makes for a compelling straight man to Reynolds’ caffeine-obsessed Pikachu. Is “Detective Pikachu” a movie for everyone? Hardly. But it’s way better than it should be. It seems that when you take a little yellow creature with a heart of gold and turn him into a soft-boiled detective, something special is in the cards. KRISTEN PAGE-KIRBY (EXPRESS)

TELEVISION

Hope you’re ready for Sexy Scrooge

Guy Pearce will play Ebenezer Scrooge in a three-part miniseries adaptation of “A Christmas Carol,” FX announced Thursday. The BBC production, which will air on FX in December, will also star Joe Alwyn and Vinette Robinson as Bob and Mary Cratchit, Andy Serkis as the Ghost of Christmas Past, and Rutger Hauer as the Ghost of Christmas Future. “Peaky Blinders” creator Steven Knight wrote the adaptation. (EXPRESS) ABC orders Cobie Smulders detective drama to series

Deadline: Andrew Garfield to play pianist James Rhodes in “Instrumental” bipoc

WARNER BROS. PICTURES

ALSO OPENING

‘Shadow’ Unrated, 116 min.

Designed in a palette of foggy gray tones, with the only dashes of color coming from flushed skin, spilled blood and candle flames, the story of a warrior and his body double (both played by Deng Chao) is gorgeous. But while “Shadow’s” story is a pretty enough meditation on the notion of twinning and opposites, it sometimes forgets that we have to care about its characters to stay with it. MICHAEL O’SULLIVAN (THE WASHINGTON POST)

‘Dogman’ Unrated, 102 min.

Marcello Fonte plays a dog groomer living in a decrepit Italian beach town, where he has a business tending to an eclectic canine clientele, while dealing coke on the side. Directed and co-written by Matteo Garrone, “Dogman” exhibits his observant style, which favors long takes in which human behavior is framed within an expressive environment. ANN HORNADAY (TWP)

The CW orders “Batwoman” to series

Profile for Express

EXPRESS_05102019  

EXPRESS_05102019