Pokémon Detective Pikachu
The live action Pokémon Detective Pikachu, directed by Rob Letterman, brings to life the harmonious union of Pokémon and humanity, following Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) and his Pokémon partner (Ryan Reynolds) as they seek to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of Tim's father. The film is scored by English composer Henry Jackman, who began his career in film as a member of Remote Control Productions and grew out from there to score a number of hit comedies and superhero films, most notably the latter two Captain America entries. Jackman has recorded three solo albums besides, with promising contributions to come in the newly begun MonsterVerse franchise. The score for Detective Pikachu, while strong in its own right, is frustrating, if only for the fact that the original Pokémon theme written by Junichi Masuda was used in the trailer, presented in the film only during the end credits. It is a terrific theme, and would have delivered a much more emotional impact for all of the legit Pokémon fans in the audience. However, Jackman's music should still be appreciated, introducing a new theme ("Ryme City") and using dated synthesizer techniques as a homage to the sound of early video game music "channels". These retro, rolling, battle-mode electronics can be heard several times ("Mewtwo Awakes", "Aipom Attack", et al.), joined by a distinctly dubstep-tech cue early on ("The Roundhouse"). However, despite these fun distractions the absence of the Pokémon theme made the score more or less forgettable as a whole.