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4K Review: ‘Pokémon Detective Pikachu’ is a Delightful Detective Story for All Ages

August 6, 2019Ben MK

For over 20 years, the Pokémon phenomenon has entranced not only kids, but the adults who grew up playing the videogames and watching the Saturday morning television show. Now, just when you think you've caught 'em all, along comes Pokémon Detective Pikachu.

Based loosely on the Nintendo game of the same name, the Pokémon franchise's big screen, live-action debut follows Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), who is beckoned to go to Ryme City — the only place in the world where humans and Pokémon live side-by-side as equals — after he receives a call informing him that his estranged police detective father Harry and his Pokémon partner Pikachu perished in a fiery car crash. When he arrives at his dad's office, however, Tim is greeted by something he never expected to see — namely Pikachu, alive and well, albeit suffering from a bout of amnesia. But that's not the end of the surprises, for Tim also discovers that, unlike every other human in Ryme City, he can understand Pikachu (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) perfectly well.

And so begins an unlikely partnership. From Blastoise to Charizard, Jigglypuff to Squirtle, what follows is sure to delight both newcomers to the Pokémon franchise and hardcore fans alike. And with ample heart and cuteness to spare, it's most certainly a fantastic start to an all-new cinematic universe that will hopefully continue to "Pika Pika" moviegoers' interests for years to come.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu debuts on 4K boasting a terrific 2160p visual presentation and an engaging Dolby Atmos sound mix, both of which make the movie just as enjoyable to watch at home as it was in theatres. The disc's HDR picture quality is bright and vivid, with no shortage of detail to be found in the bustling and colorful neon metropolis that is Ryme City, not to mention the fur, feathers and scales of its Pokémon inhabitants. As for the disc's audio quality, it's equally engaging, with plenty of nuance and bombast to be found in everything from explosions, to street traffic, to the roars, squawks and squeaks of Pokémon big and small.

Warner's two-disc 4K release includes a digital copy and a Blu-ray copy of the film, as well as a special Pokémon trading card. There are no special features on the 4K disc, but the following extras can be found on the Blu-ray disc:

  • Detective Mode - A visual commentary track providing viewers with various Pokémon trivia, Easter eggs and behind-the-scenes featurettes with the cast and crew.
  • Alternate Opening (1:41)
  • My Pokémon Adventure (2:13) - Star Justice Smith shares his affinity for the Pokémon franchise.
  • Creating the World of Detective Pikachu (21:22) - A five-part documentary that delves into the making of the movie ("Welcome to Ryme City," "Uncovering the Magic," "Action," "Colourful Characters" and "Bringing Pokémon to Life").
  • Mr. Mime's Audio Commentary (3:00) - A breakdown of one of the film's most hilarious scenes.
  • Ryan Reynolds - Outside the Actor's Studio (1:32) - Star Ryan Reynolds talks about his role.
  • "Carry On" by Rita Ora and Kygo (Music Video) (3:51)

Pokémon Detective Pikachu is available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment as of August 6th, 2019. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray features English Dolby Atmos, English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles. The total runtime is 1 hr. 44 min.

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on May 9th, 2019.

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