Pokemon: Detective Pikachu (Blu-Ray)
The vibrant world of Pokemon came to life like never before in Detective Pikachu, and now you’re able to enjoy it from the comfort of your couch. Is the blu-ray for the first live-action Pokemon film worth picking up, or should you “choose” another? Check out my full review to find out!
Detective Pikachu launched earlier this year, near the start of Summer break, and I have no shame in telling people it was definitely among one of my most anticipated films of the year. Even though I’ve never been big into the cartoon (my fandom is fairly limited to just the games) I was really intrigued by the trailers and story they were offering up.
The basics are fairly simple; police detective Harry Goodman is thought dead and his estranged son, Tim, heads to Ryme City in order to pick up his dad’s belongings. When he quickly discovers his dad’s missing Pikachu partner, whom he has the mysterious ability to understand, things take a strange turn. Not everything is what it seems. As Tim and the strange, coffee loving, Pikachu delve into the mystery surrounding his father’s “death” they uncover a far larger conspiracy that could have global repercussions.
What unfolds is like a kids version of a noir film, complete with femme fatale’s, big twists, and plenty of action. While the film is understandably geared towards a younger audience, there’s a ton built in to appeal to adults (presumably the parents watching it with the kiddos).
I enjoyed it quite a bit when I first caught it in theaters, and I think most of my initial review holds up for the film’s home entertainment release. While the ‘mystery’ element is gone on the second viewing, there’s so much built into this film visually that it was still fun to come back to. The world of Pokemon truly feels alive. The wealth of Easter eggs they’ve built into nearly every scene meant I continued to see things I missed the first time around. I imagine that will continue to be the case upon a few other viewings as well.
In this way, Detective Pikachu has plenty of longevity for its blu-ray release and was still a lot of fun to come back to. The humor throughout still had me laughing out loud at multiple points and the characters keep me attached for some surprisingly emotional moments. It loses some of the oomph from the first viewing, but overall I still have a ridiculous amount of fun with this film, and I think you (and your kids, if any) will as well.
Sight and Sound
Simply put, the visual style in Detective Pikachu is awesome. Every frame is packed to the gills with vivid details. Ryme City feels alive as the characters explore every aspect from the brightly colored metropolis, to its seedy underbelly. That’s not to mention the more rural areas that are explored. All around, it’s a gorgeous looking film with plenty to dazzle the eyes.
Thankfully, the blu-ray transfer does a solid job of showcasing all of that. The blacks are deep without crushing, which allows the film’s dynamic color palette to stand out. The images are super crisp, and in several of the scenes that took place in darkness, I was able to notice tiny background details I’d missed on the big screen.
The sound is equally handled well, making you feel immersed in the city and the underground battling as the noise of various Pokemon flitter about in the surround sound. The dialog is given correct priority and never felt drowned out in the action. All around, the technical side of the blu-ray does a great job of highlighting the film’s unique style.
The Bonus Features
On top of a DVD and digital copy of the film, Detective Pikachu’s blu-ray contains these special features:
My Pokémon Adventure
Creating the World of Detective Pikachu: Welcome to Ryme City
Creating the World of Detective Pikachu: Uncovering the Magic
Creating the World of Detective Pikachu: Action
Creating the World of Detective Pikachu: Colorful Characters
Creating the World of Detective Pikachu: Bringing Pokémon to Life
Mr. Mime’s Audio Commentary
Ryan Reynolds – Outside the Actor’s Studio
“Carry On” by Rita Ora and Kygo (Music Video)
The Detective Mode is actually pretty damn cool. It’s a “pop-up” track that plays throughout the entire length of the film. Along with text/highlight moments, director Rob Letterman pops onto the track to serve as a sort of tour guide through certain sections of the movie. It shows off a BUNCH of Easter eggs, bits of trivia, and general Pokemon information that fans and newcomers alike will enjoy.
The rest of the bonus features are fairly standard behind the scenes material with a few generic cast interviews. Nothing too exciting, which is a bummer considering the obvious care they put into crafting the first live-action Pokemon film. Overall, I don’t think you’ll find much to come back to, but the Detective Mode is a really great addition to the package.