Pokémon Detective Pikachu – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Pokémon Detective Pikachu

When I first reviewed the film, I initially gave it a decent review. The second time around, my feelings about the film didn’t really change. For its first-ever live-action film, Pokémon Detective Pikachu shows audiences that a live-action adaptation of the animated series can be possible. But it’s a bit sad that we had to get a Detective Pikachu film before Ash, Misty, and Brock. That’s not to say that Detective Pikachu is a bad film. Pokémon Detective Pikachu is a fine film when it focuses on the mystery of Harry Goodman and his pokémon partner, Pikachu. It’s a touching story of a father and son that pulls on the heartstrings a bit.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the villainous plot with Howard Clifford then it becomes too far-fetched of a plotline—even for a children’s film. It simply seems like a plot device to just showcase all of the pokémon in the film without any humans around. Regardless, the film does a great job in putting the pokémon in a real-world setting.

It’s nice to see a lot of Generation 1 pokémon take center stage in this film. Pokémon such as Snorlax, Growlithe, and Jigglypuff—just to name a few. Each and every pokémon looks amazing and accurate in its real-world setting. Truth be told, a few pokémon does take some getting used to, but you eventually learn to get over it.

The same goes for Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Pikachu. It’s true that Pikachu does bring up thoughts of Deadpool. However, you forget the fact that he’s acting like Deadpool and start to accept the fact that he’s Pikachu. At the same time, Justice Smith does an impeccable job acting alongside nothing. Smith doesn’t act alongside a lot of people, so the pokémon he encounters he has to act with thin air. So the end result is a believable performance and chemistry with a non-existent Reynolds.

Overall, Pokémon Detective Pikachu is a decent first attempt at bringing pokémon into the live-action realm. Although it may not be the pokémon film that we wanted, it shows us that a live-action Pokémon film can work with the right story. Let’s just hope that the next live-action film features the characters were all waiting for: Ash, Misty, and Brock.

Movie Rating: 3/5 atoms

Video

Pokémon Detective Pikachu - Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith

Pokémon Detective Pikachu hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with an HDR transfer and a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. For a film shot on old school film, the video looks great. The brightness displays a vivid white while the black levels are a deep dark black. At the same time, a fantastic contrast gives the picture some depth. At the same time, a wide array of colors from the neon lights give off some vibrant saturated colors.

Since the film was shot on traditional film, there is a slight softness in the detail clarity and around the edges. Not to mention, there is a noticeable film grain that you can spot from your couch. Weirdly enough, the soft detail clarity doesn’t seem to mask some of the plastic-looking pokémon. Yet this is more an issue with the way the film was shot than the actual video transfer. Regardless, this is a great video transfer.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Audio

Pokémon Detective Pikachu - Jigglypuff

Pokémon Detective Pikachu hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. This review will reflect Pikachu‘s Dolby Atmos track. The audio mix has a lot of fun panning the sound effects around the sound stage—especially during the climactic battle at Ryme City. Not to mention, the accurate placement of sound effects add a good amount of immersion to a scene. When it comes to the overhead effects, we get an immersive dome-like effect which, unfortunately, doesn’t get used a lot.

There are, however, lots of subtle atmospheric effects. Henry Jackman’s score is mostly relegated to the front channel speakers with some instruments playing in the rears. The dialogue can clearly be heard—including the combination of MewTwo’s two voices. The subwoofer adds weight to the bigger scenes of the film. Overall, this is a stellar audio mix.

Audio Rating: 5/5 atoms

Special Features

Pokémon Detective Pikachu - Ryan Reynolds

Pokémon Detective Pikachu‘s Ultra HD Blu-ray disc doesn’t have any special features on it. However, you can find the following special features on the regular Blu-ray disc:

  • Detective Mode
  • My Pokémon Adventure
  • Creating the World of Detective Pikachu
    • Uncovering the Magic
    • Colorful Characters
    • Bringing Pokémon to Life
    • Welcome to Ryme City
    • Action!
  • Alternate Opening
  • Mr. Mime’s Audio Commentary
  • Ryan Reynolds: Outside the Actor’s Studio
  • “Carry On” Music Video by Rita Ora & Kygo

“Detective Mode” is a fun pop-up video style feature which gives you a wealth of information about a wide array of subjects. Not only does the feature provide a lot of behind-the-scenes information about the film but it identifies the different Pokémon on the screen. For those of us who grew up with the Generation 1 Pokémon, “Detective Mode” lets us know who the new Pokémon are.

In addition, “Creating the World” is a nice companion piece to the “Detective Mode” feature. These short mini-featurettes were primarily made for promotional purposes, but it still provides more in-depth information that you couldn’t get with “Detective Mode”.

“My Pokémon Adventure” highlights Justice Smith’s entire exposure to the Pokèmon world. The alternate opening is kind of a nice introduction to Tim’s character, but the theatrical opening was still the better option. The theatrical opening sets the tone and mystery for the entire film. However, it was nice seeing Rob Delaney in another Ryan Reynolds film. “Mr. Mime’s Audio Commentary” is kind of a useless feature. All it does is show you the Mr. Mime scene—that’s it. Yet the joke is that Mr. Mime can’t talk hence the audio commentary is useless.

“Outside the Actor’s Studio” is an online feature where it shows Reynolds spoofing Inside the Actor’s Studio by talking about his process into becoming Pikachu. Finally, the “Carry On” music video has shades of old-school film promotions where a song is made specifically for a film and the music video features clips from the film.

Special Features Rating: 4/5 atoms


Overall, Pokémon Detective Pikachu is a good Pokémon film that’s weighed down by a poor mixture of stories. If the film was simply about the father and son storyline instead of the villain plot then the film would’ve benefitted greatly. Nevertheless, the video and audio look and sound great. At the same time, “Detective Mode” gives you another way of watching the film. Even some of the online promotional videos are fun viewings.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1488 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.