Movie reviews: Pokemon Detective Pikachu, Brightburn
POKEMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU (PG)
Pokemon fans and families with young children should have a fun time with this bubblegum noir-meets-action adventure.
It tells the story of Tim (Justice Smith, last seen in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), a sleuth's son who reluctantly teams up with his father's talking Pikachu (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) as they uncover the truth behind his disappearance.
Detective Pikachu is one of the prettiest movies of 2019, with the neon-lit Ryme City a character in its own right.
Reynolds gives an electric performance, bringing Pikachu to life. It feels like he was instructed to repeat his Deadpool shtick, but to make it family-friendly.
Unfortunately, the story is predictable. This might turn off more discerning adults, but fans of the franchise won't care much. - JOHN TAN
With Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn as a producer, you'd hope for big things.
Unfortunately, the makers are too enamoured with the concept and don't seem to realise it can't carry its run time alone.
The elevator pitch: What if Superman grew up evil. Or specifically, Superboy. The idea has been explored a number of times in comics yet Brightburn is the first film to try it.
Brightburn has a horror tinge - there are some gory scenes and real wincing moments (glass in the eye, anyone?) - but otherwise it feels airless and repetitive.
There could have been a more interesting film based on nature versus nurture, modern parenting, and what could make this boy (Jackson A. Dunn) turn bad. But it goes for a solution that feels like a cop-out.
It's left to mum (Elizabeth Banks) to slowly accept that her son's a bad seed and wonder how to stop him.
If only they could have shown more of what we only get a glimpse of at the end.
- JONATHAN ROBERTS