He made a splash in the 2017 blockbuster hit “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” opposite Chris Pratt. Now young actor Justice Smith returns to the big screen in Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ “POKEMON Detective Pikachu” based on the beloved Pokémon brand—one of the world’s most popular, multi-generation entertainment properties and one of the most successful media franchises of all time.

Smith plays 21-year-old Tim Goodman who reluctantly arrives in Ryme City to wrap up the affairs of his estranged father, Harry, a private eye gone missing—and presumed dead—during his last case.

Once in Harry’s apartment, Tim is touched by glimpses into the life of a man he never really knew but who apparently cared very much for him. Then he meets Harry’s former partner, Detective Pikachu, an old-school gumshoe with the gift of gab, spouting a stream of bad jokes and noir clichés but still making a fair amount of sense. Tim finds himself drawn to the possibility that Harry is alive and that he and this supercharged, won’t-take-no-for-an-answer Detective Pikachu must team up to find him and uncover what he was working on.

“This film has everything,” states Smith. “It’s funny and silly, in ways that I think adults will get as much as kids. It has drama and mystery. It’s grounded and real, and there’s a meaningful story that people can relate to. That’s what appealed to me about it.”

Raised by his grandmother in another city, Tim hasn’t seen his father in years, and he’d likely say that was just fine with him. He doesn’t need a dad; he doesn’t need anything or anyone, in fact, not even a Pokémon to call his own. But once inside Harry’s simple bachelor pad, Tim’s tough-guy façade gets a little frayed around the edges. There are framed photos of young Tim, an unsent birthday card and train ticket, and a room carefully decorated for a Pokémon-loving teenager who never came to use it.

“I think he feels sad and a little guilty,” Smith suggests. “He realizes his dad cared more than he knew, and maybe the fault was partly his for not giving Harry a chance. It’s a tough spot to be in. The vulnerability he must have felt as a kid and that he’s been trying to hide his entire life, comes back. Worst of all, if he and his dad ever really had a chance to be close, he thinks it’s too late now.”

Or is it? If Tim needs a reason to believe, he needs only listen to Harry’s partner, who knew everything about him…even though he can’t remember any of it right now. Still, despite the fact that Detective Pikachu has no memory beyond last week—the same time Harry disappeared—he is absolutely convinced of two things: (1) he is a world-class detective and (2), Harry is still kicking. With him being able to talk to Pokémon and Tim being able to talk to humans, and the two of them able to talk to each other, the only logical course is for them to buddy up and figure out what happened. Tim reluctantly agrees. But he has no idea what he’s in for.

But it might be the very thing Tim needs to challenge and to find himself. With Detective Pikachu’s encouragement—Tim might finally be able to shake off a past that had him playing it safe and reach toward a more meaningful future than he could have foreseen just days ago.

In Philippine cinemas Thursday, May 9, “POKÉMON Detective Pikachu” is distributed in the Philippines by Warner Bros. Pictures, a WarnerMedia Company. Use the hashtags #DetectivePikachu and #PikaPika