FEW films appeal to youngsters as much as they do their parents.

And live action video game adaptations have traditionally had a very rough time with the critics.

So you might say that the Pokémon movie had its work cut out, especially when the star is a sleuthing yellow rodent-like creature with electrical abilities.

Surreal does not even begin to cover it and only hardcore fans of the beloved Japanese game series – synonymous with Nintendo – will understand the ins and outs of the plot.

But Detective Pikachu is an absolute joy for all ages because director Rob Letterman (Goosebumps, Monsters vs Aliens) fully plunges his audience down that rabbit hole where you just have to go with it.

Pokémon is a series of games that usually focuses on capturing and training wild and wonderful creatures with a variety of supernatural abilities.

But this story imagines a sprawling metropolis called Ryme City where humans and Pokémon live side-by-side.

No more fighting, no more tournaments.

Visually, it is a staggering achievement with each creature brought vividly to life by the effects team.

None more so than Pikachu himself with his soft, billowing fur and gentle mannerisms.

This is juxtaposed with the character’s acerbic wit and deadpan delivery which pretty much makes the film – especially for older viewers – thanks to Ryan Reynolds’ exceptional performance.

Think Deadpool but a lot more child friendly.

The film sees Pikachu team up with 21-year-old Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) after his dad, a renowned detective, disappears and is presumed dead.

Cub reporter Lucy Stevens (Kathryn Newton) helps the pair chase clues that lead to Howard Clifford (Bill Nighy), the shadowy visionary behind Ryme City.

It helps if you have a general interest in Pokémon but Detective Pikachu is enjoyable regardless thanks to its wow factor and Reynolds’ genuinely funny wisecracks.

Justice Smith – not related to Will Smith – is also a young star in the making but Bill Nighy, on the other hand, feels a bit out of place. Overall, it is one of those films where it is so easy to forgive its flaws because it has that magic quality to it.

Yes, the twists do not make a great deal of sense to casual viewers but they keep story rolling until the end, offering fun and mischief in every frame.

RATING: 7.5/10