Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame Reviews

August 27, 2019
Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame is vintage Tsui Hark, filled with virtuoso aerial fight sequences and soaring performances by glamorous veterans Carina Lau, Andy Lau, and Tony Leung Ka-fai.
June 27, 2019
Detective Dee is a sweet little cotton candy confection -- but certain parts might stick to your teeth.
January 9, 2019
The kind of escapist entertainment that they just don't make anymore, which also makes its allusions to real-world concerns such as political hegemony and torture feel a bit misplaced in this movie fantasia.
May 15, 2018
The film is both sumptuous and thrilling, with enough action to keep the audience entertained at the same time as keeping the clues rolling in to give the audience a chance to guess who the murderer is.
March 5, 2018
Detective Dee brings back the excitement of great pop cinema that drew cinephiles to Hong Kong in the first place.
October 10, 2015
If you're looking for a popcorn movie, producer-director Tsui has crafted an absurdist fantasy that might cure -- or spontaneously combust -- the summertime blues. But even escapist entertainment can have interesting angles.
October 7, 2015
What's tragic about "Detective Dee" is the fact that it rapes a chapter of Chinese history beyond any semblance of reality.
November 17, 2011
The game's afoot, and the foot knows kung fu.
October 20, 2011
There is nothing wrong with its reach, but its grasp of genre elements is random.
October 13, 2011
In their best moments, Hark's action movies have a what-did-I-just-see giddiness, as if their choreography were springing straight from a cartoon id.
October 9, 2011
The film's visual style is at times so dense it simply overwhelms (ditto the plot).
October 6, 2011
The huge budget fails to hide a certain poverty of imagination.
October 1, 2011
September 29, 2011
Creative spectacle, humor, and suspense drive the film, and we can only hope that Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame kicks off a new mystery franchise.
September 29, 2011
It is a peculiar conflation of history -- there really was an Empress Wu -- and pure cinematic fantasy.
September 26, 2011
By the end, with the running time pushing past the two-hour mark, it's reasonable to ask: Just who are these people?
September 23, 2011
Directed by the master Tsui Hark, 'Detective Dee' is one rip-snorting piece of action-movie eye candy,
September 23, 2011
Detective Dee is the action flick of the year, a two-hour epic that blows the Pirates of the Caribbean to the Bermuda Triangle.
September 23, 2011
Detective Dee And The Mystery Of The Phantom Flame is a thriller, an action movie, an effects-heavy mythical adventure and even a little bit of a love story. In short, it's every sort of film director Tsui Hark has made in the past all rolled into one.
September 23, 2011
"Dee" doesn't shoot for the gravitas of Zhang Yimou's "Hero." It doesn't approach that film's magnificent sensory impact, either, or the artistic romanticism that made "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" such a success here.