What we're watching and playing this week in Dubai
Detective Pikachu (PG)
This has got to be the biggest surprise since, quite frankly, sliced bread. Yes, that’s how flabbergasted we were when we heard that, not only would there be a live-action Pokémon movie, but it would star Pikachu as an adorable yellow fuzzball detective who can talk and is addicted to caffeine. And who better to star in one of the quirkiest films of the year than Ryan Reynolds, the voice of the amnesia-struck Pokémon?
Inspired by the surprise-hit 3DS game, the movie takes place in Ryme City, where Pokémon aren’t trying to be caught by trainers and actually co-exist with humans. Think Machamp being a lollipop man and Jigglypuff being a singer (that puts everyone to sleep). When ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, his partner, Detective Pikachu, tracks down his son, played by upcoming star Justice Smith, to help find out exactly what happened, only to discover a conspiracy that threatens the peaceful co-existence of the inhabitants of the city.
Luckily for them, the duo can somehow talk with one another, making them the dream buddy-cop duo that can communicate with both humans and Pokémon. Without the hilarious quips of Reynolds, this could have just been a flick for the little ones, but it’s a family movie the adults can chuckle at, too. Unless Detective Pikachu plays it safe and simply follows the typical detective-crime genre stereotypes without embracing all its quirkiness, this one could be the surprise hit of 2019.
In cinemas May 9
A Vigilante (15+)
Don’t even mess with a woman with a vengeance, especially if she’s as furious as Olivia Wilde looks in her latest action crime-mystery, A Vigilante. More of a slow-burner than action-heavy, Wilde’s character is on the hunt for her murderous husband, funding herself in the meantime by taking out domestic abusers in her town. Go for Wilde’s incredible acting, but stay for the chilling story of revenge.
In cinemas now
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (15+)
We get it, Ted Bundy was all these things, but did the title for this true-crime story have to be so obnoxiously long? Zac Efron plays the revoltingly slick infamous criminal, with the focus being on his wife (Lily Collins) and how she was oblivious to all his wrong-doings. Hopefully this flick doesn’t overglorify Bundy too much.
In cinemas now
Remember everything that went down in developer id Software’s first semi-successful Rage? No, neither do we, because of its forgettable story, clunky open-world and run-of-the-mill first-person shooter mechanics. It hardly had a fan base either, so why in the world is there a sequel to this dead franchise? It’s a mystery we’re not bothered to solve, as Rage 2 is a completely different beast of adrenaline-pumping action that ticks (and blasts away) all the right boxes.
In fact, id Software and newcomers Avalanche Studios explicitly state that there’s no need to worry if you haven’t played the first one (followed by a fitting “you nuts?”). Basically, a huge asteroid destroys earth, you’re the last living Ranger, and there’s anarchy all around you. Ironically, it’s up to you to restore any scrap of order by being as chaotic as possible, and there’s a myriad of ways to get creative. To take down every enemy from the ninja-like Immortal Shrouded to the certainly less imposing squad of River Hogs, players will be armed with the Grav-Dart Launcher, which can fling foes any way you point, the Charged Pulse Canon which packs a wallop strong enough to take out a vehicle, the Smart Rocket Launcher which is loaded with clever homing rockets, and plenty more. They’re all upgradable in their own destructive way, which only makes players hooked on progressing through the game.
Wait a second, this all sounds fairly familiar... Doom, anyone? Rage 2 is by the same guys that brought the instant 2016 classic, so it’s exciting to see the highly satisfying, erm, rage-inducing combat brought to a sprawling open world. Also, this time Rage is actually set in an open-world, using a loading-free engine as opposed to its original “sectioned” open-world. It’s also bursting with colourful graphics, despite it being set in the usual brownish post-apocalyptic setting.
Unlike your stereotypical open-world game, there’s more to do than just shoot bad guys and explore the wasteland. There’s, as the developers put it, “family-fun activities” including convoy battles that will have gamers drive whatever battle-ready vehicle they find to take out huge trucks, the hilarious Mutant Bash TV for gladiator-type entertainment and a bunch of weird groups that will take you on absurd side-missions.
Insanity rules in Rage 2, and we’re loving every second of its completely revamped gameplay.
Available on PS4, Xbox One and PC. May 14.
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
You’d be forgiven for missing this iteration of Final Fantasy on PS2 back in 2006, as that’s when everyone was switching to the next-gen PS3. What you’d be missing out on is arguably one of the better JRPG’s out there, and it still holds up more than a decade later in this remastered update. Now out on Switch and Xbox, gamers will finally get to experience Final Fantasy’s take on Star Wars.
Out now on Switch, Xbox One
Netflix really needs to start coming up with some more original names. Street Food is a docuseries about, well, we’ll let you guess. Taking us to the bustling streets of Asia and the families that have spent their lives perfecting their street cooking skills in places such as Thailand, India, South Korea and Japan. These chefs haven’t had any gastronomic education, but what they whip up on-screen is sure to have your stomach growling.
Out now on Netflix