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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Fantasy > Martial Arts > China > 3D > Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon (2013/Well Go USA Blu-ray)

Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon (2013/Well Go USA Blu-ray)

Picture: B+ Sound: B+ Extras: D Film: B+

Join Young Detective Dee as he enters the Imperial police force. His very first case involves a mysterious creature, the Sea Dragon King that had destroyed the Imperial Navy. With the Capital under attack, he must uncover who is controlling and behind the monster, but with his head on the line he discovers a conspiracy that reaches all the way up to the imperial court. Tsui Hark's Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon (2013) uses this set-up to launch a new potential franchise series and has a bug budget to match.

Detective Dee is also a kung-fu expert, but is a master in Detective work. Looked down by his superiors, scorned by his jealous peers, he protects the city and the innocent. As he enters the Imperial Capital, it is full of beauty, danger, corruption and backstabbing, but he seems always one step and ahead of danger and his rivals. Soon, his enemies realize their plans are not safe from the eyes of Detective Dee and that to topple the Imperial Capital they must first defeat Dee.

This boiled down to Sherlock Holmes mixed with martial arts and monsters and the character Dee sees things like Sherlock Holmes, sees and super analyzes all the clues which then leads him to solving the case and acts on his deductions. Most of the fighting involves a lot of CGI fighting and the scenery was also mostly CGI. In the end, most of the movie was eye candy for martial art, the side characters were were only there in solving/explaining Detective Dee's case and lacked any further character development and the story lacked much of a plot. We'll see if we get any sequels.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer was shot in 5K HD with a RED EPIC camera and also issued in 3D (not included here) and IMAX. The result is that this 2D version had much to take from and the result is a disc with great image playback despite the digital effects issues and minor moments of detail limits. Sound-wise, this was not only issued in the SONICS-DDP format in IMAX, but the rest of the better high grade theatrical screenings offered Auro 11.1 and Dolby Atmos 11.1 sound mixes. This Blu-ray has a strong DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix that will challenge any serious home theater system with the only disappointment being dialogue sometimes is underwhelming and too much in the center and/or front channels.

There are oddly no extras, but that might help the performance of the film itself by giving it more room on the disc.

- Ricky Chiang


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