Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame Reviews

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September 9, 2018
Captivating and epic. Shows that China can successfully do Hollywood level film-making.
August 27, 2018
Interesting with twists and suspense.
July 1, 2017
Big, beautiful, exciting Tsui Hark adventure.
July 10, 2015
Mystery and martial arts in the time of China's Tang Dynasty. After a series officials mysteriously burst into flames, which threatens to delay the inauguration of Empress Wu, the persona non grata Detective Dee is brought back into the fold to solve the mystery. I went into this movie wanting something filled with amazing martial arts, like what I got in director Tsui Hark's "Once Upon a Time in China" the first time I saw it. However, what was somewhat disappointing is that Hark's vibrant style seems less fresh now that it's been imitated so many times from everyone in Hong Kong and the states, from Sam Raimi to The Wachowski Brothers. Still, he does infuse his film with some terrific atmosphere and fun fantasy elements, which made up for my expectation of being blown away like I have been in the past with the fight scenes. Hark has always been interesting for me because he went to film school in the US and brought American quality of special effects to Hong Kong action films, which had never been done before. Hong Kong production values have certainly improved since the 1980s, but Hark continued that formula here with a higher than average quality special effects, along with some fine martial arts choreography by Sammo Hung.
January 20, 2015
Sorry, i cant get into movies that overuse wire work with horrid first level CG effects and think its ok.
October 14, 2014
An historical epic film full of action and kung fu.
½ September 29, 2014
Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame is more like "Sherlock Holmes does the martial arts" sort of. Tsui does it again and deliver the goods by giving us the old martial arts battle scenes that we missed dearly. Storyline is catchy at times with another weak first half but again it gives a satisfying climax that leads to a very interesting end. A must watch.
July 13, 2014
very imaginative murder mystery with one of the most original ways of killing people I have seen in movies so far. Quite a lot of fun to watch.
July 10, 2014
Andy Lau and Hark Tsui at the top of their game. Amazing supernatural mystery. The effects look cheap sometimes and it's a little long.
July 7, 2014
A coming back of Tsui Hark's wire-fu genre.
June 25, 2014
Flawlessly beautiful with great performances from all and director Tsui Hark back in top form!! One of the best HK films in years and well worth seeing!
March 29, 2014
Excellent Action + Adventure + Crime + Drama + Mystery + Detective Movie
Excellent Work....................................
February 27, 2014
great camera work. some of the animation could've been more real. But all in all great film.
February 19, 2014
Tsui Hark's storytelling gives us a fun ride.
½ February 16, 2014
Like a Chinese version of Sherlock Holmes! Great martial arts/action stunts
January 27, 2014
Detective Dee est un film realise par un visionnaire qui transpire le cinema et qui propose cinquante idees par plans, le genial Tsui Hark. Le probleme, c'est que ca tourne tres vite a vide, que le budget (ou la qualite des SFX, c'est selon) ne suit pas, que l'action frenetique nuit a la narration, chaotique et que les acteurs ne sont pas tous tres bons. Si Andy Lau et Li Bingbing sont excellents, Tony Leung Ka Fai et les autres en font des caisses. Il en reste que certaines sequences font mouche et permettent au film de rester divertissant, faute de mieux.
½ January 15, 2014
While the cgi could have used a little work, (you can hardly blame them, their industry isn't as huge as ours) the action, drama and plotting are immensely entertaining. Packed with creative visuals and some shocking surprises all wrapped around a great mystery.
January 6, 2014
Quite good special effects and action. Carina Lau is the female emperor. The old guards secretly plan a coup against her. A giant Guanyin statue is been build and must be complete before her coronation. Tony Leung is the architect. He warn about removing the protection amulet pasted on the support pole. The visiting official burst into flame and die after exposure to sun. Deng Chao says the body is burn from inside. Tony Leung says its his punishment for removing the amulet. The chief coroner remove the amulet and don't believe in such thing. Every worker is brought back. Reporting to Carina, the coroner also burst into flames. Li Bingbing is Carina bodyguard. After hearing the deer god talking about Di Renjie (Andy Lau), Carina free him. He was imprison for opposing to her years ago. Some rebels want to kill Andy and Li and army came. They all rather die than get caught. Carina want Andy to investigate the case and to solve before coronation. Li is task to serve Andy and she don't see eye to eye with him. She want to sex him and assassin shoot arrows into the house. The troop commander old guard want Andy to join him. Deng is to assist Andy in the case. He want Deng to speak from his heart who he think is responsible. The bird evidence also burn up. He quickly go to the kitchen and pour the poison from the arrow shot at him onto a plate of chicken blood, expose under the sun and it burst to flames. Andy & Tony are old friends. Tony tell Andy he suspect it is some kind of bug that can burst to flame and it is hard to obtain. They go to the black market to find a guy who has it (Richard Ng). A giant bell drop and Richard escape. A killer tries to kill him and fight the 3. Deng fight a breakaway part and find out it is puppet control by people above. Li follow the killer but Andy stay and protect Richard. Deng go back to help Li but lost the trail. Richard real face is actually Teddy Robin who is expert in face transformation. It remind him of Li whom he nearly touch the important facial part. He was the imperial doctor and wanted to use the bug for medicine but discover its useless and dangerous instead. Before he escape he throw the remaining bug under the sun. He kept them at the imperial adviser palace. Li is angry he is accusing the adviser. The troop commander return Andy weapon gifted by the dead emperor. He say the emperor is kill by the adviser instructed by Carina. He was kill by an arrow to the head and also burst into flames. Carina stop Li to help Andy. Deng investigate the home of the commander and found an important note. He was capture along the way. Andy sneak into the adviser palace and know he is Li using transformation. He tell her Carina will kill adviser after coronation and she know so many of her secret, she will likely be dead too. Andy fight her and he block her broken sword and is hurt. When she is carrying him across the forest, she broke a trap string and spear killed her. Its done by the same gang that caught Deng. Li want Andy to solve the case. Andy saw Deng horse and open the door. The cloth that cover him unveil and he burst into flames. Andy find the note Deng hide in the saddle. Tony is the mastermind behind all this. He kill the official because during inspection, he found the support beam with holes. The height of the statue will fall and crush the palace during coronation. Tony is in charge of fixing buildings so he have access to the thrown bugs by Teddy back then. He vow revenge for the hand he lost. Andy is spill with the bug water. Tony pour molten to the beam so it will fall and crush the palace. Andy destroy one of the flow to change the direction of fall. Tony run away with some water and Andy chase, risking exposure to sun. He kick Tony off the horse and the water spill onto him and he burst to flames. The statue start to rock and everyone panic. Andy save Carina from the falling statue. She want him to stay by her side to help. He decline and acknowledge her as emperor, return the weapon back and hide in the underground city with Teddy to cure his bug poison.
January 6, 2014
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