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.