“You teach me and I’ll teach you,” the core message at the heart of Pokémon, stayed true to form in director Rob Letterman’s Detective Pikachu, pulling off a performance that was both simple (but not simple-minded) and profound.

Detective Pikachu follows the journey of Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), as he tries to uncover the mystery of his father’s death. When Tim’s father’s partner, Detective Pikachu (who can talk to Tim only), voiced by Ryan Reynolds, arrives on the scene, very not-dead contrary to what the reports suggest, Tim’s quest suddenly becomes something much more.

Thrown into a world he has neglected, Tim must team up with Pikachu to locate his father, and unearth the maniacal secrets of a biotech company whose sinister plans will affect the fate of humans and Pokémon forever. With the help of an ambitious, savvy, and attractive intern, Lucy Stevens, played by Kathryn Newton, and her trusty Psyduck, Tim realizes he has more of his father in him than he ever thought possible.

With the exception of a few poorly paced scenes and some fixes that just seemed a little too easy, the writing was excellent. Comic relief was around every other corner, giving the film a solid mix of touching emotional moments, and utterly adorable Pokémon with extremely real and authentic reactions. The opening scene portraying Tim’s reluctance to the Pokémon world in which he lives and the Cubone his friend wants him to catch perfectly encapsulates this melodious balance of humans and Pokémon living together.

Ryme City, the main setting of the film is a perfect example of this. Created so that Pokémon and people can live together in harmony, turning the typical trainer-trainee relationship of this universe on its head, and instead of replacing it with one of equality, hinted at larger themes that the movie played on brilliantly.

Some scenes made it feel as though we had been transported to Jurassic Park itself. Truly epic battle scenes lasting just the right amount of time, peppered with twist after twist (some genuinely unexpected) moved this film along at a steady clip. Smith, Newton and Reynolds’s performances, from quippy one-liners to awkward love scenes, brought a lightness to the film, a nostalgic callback to the days of our childhoods.

World-building points for this beautifully complex and dazzling domain go to Letterman for his ability to throw us into a realm we have scarcely seen before. The city is breathtakingly gorgeous. Production design, costume design, and visual effects—all fantastic.

Calling attention to certain social issues should not go unnoticed in this idealistic world, either.

The fresh take on this international phenomenon perhaps shows us that Pokémon isn’t just for kids. That if we look deeper, we are all people of the same world, and we can live in harmony if we strive to understand each other and act from a place of love. Evolution is not just for the Pokémon. What we do to our planet and the creatures that inhabit it have resounding consequences. That seemed to be the vision, anyway.

The biologically engineered Pokémon, Mewtwo, living somewhere in the gray space between human, machine, and Pokémon, wrestles with this question too. But he shows us in the end that the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant, and that the gift of life is what determines who we are.

With the exception of a few too-quick, or forced emotional beats, and some real plot head-scratchers, Detective Pikachu did not disappoint. The personality quirks and charming performances by people and Pokémon alike will remain in our memories long after the credits roll. The live-action rendition of this beloved classic, studded with stunning special effects will hopefully bring this beautifully rich universe to even more people.