The Golden Child Blu-ray review

Nov 28, 2020- Permalink

Paramount has released 1986’s The Golden Child as the eleventh entry in its numbered Paramount Presents line. The adventure/comedy stars Eddie Murphy as a private detective who is tasked with finding and protecting The Golden Child, a young mystic who has been kidnapped by an evil demon. Murphy’s Chandler Jarrell doesn’t believe in any of this mysticism, but his skepticism is about to be tested. Audiences loved the film when it came out, but critics were more reserved in their judgment of the production, which had undergone extensive reshoots after testing to try and make it more like Eddie’s previous ventures. It’s still an enjoyable film and definitely one for Eddie Murphy collectors. Paramount Presents doesn’t release in Canada, but I had the opportunity to review Paramount’s standard Blu-ray release.

The 1080p AVC-encoded transfer is in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The Blu-ray is based off of a newly-scanned 4K master and as such the video presentation is very good. It’s a very sharp image, though there are some moments where the image appears softer than it should. The same goes for the details, which are generally quite good on faces, textiles and environments but sometimes the image is a little flat. The colour palette, on the other hand, is very good, with good tones in both the urban and more natural locations. Black levels are very good with good depth and detail in darker scenes. There are no visible noise or compression artifact issues. This is the best The Golden Child has looked on home video.

On the audio side, there’s an English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack as well as French, German, and Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks. Subtitles are available in English, English SDH, French, German, and Japanese. The lossless 5.1 soundtrack is still mostly front-dominant, but the surrounds do some work to provide some ambient details. The score is the real star of this mix and it’s a rich and dynamic music presentation. Dialogue is clear and centred.

There are only two supplements to the disc, a making-of featurette and a theatrical trailer. If you get your hands on the Paramount Presents release, the slipcover has fold-open artwork of the original poster, while the packaging available to me in Canada is just the standard slipcover.

The Eighties were a great time for Eddie Murphy’s film career, though The Golden Child is critically considered to be one of his misses. If you’re trying to have a complete Murphy collection, you’ll want this but others may want to check it out on streaming.