Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame Reviews

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March 5, 2018
Detective Dee brings back the excitement of great pop cinema that drew cinephiles to Hong Kong in the first place.
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
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
"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.
September 22, 2011
Three decades into his career, Tsui Hark stands as one of the movies' great entertainers, displaying a dancer's sense of rhythm and movement and manipulating physical space with an abandon worthy of Chuck Jones.
September 22, 2011
A colourful carnival of relentless action and artful images.
September 22, 2011
Is it possible for Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame to be any more riotously over-the-top than it is?
September 22, 2011
It's slambang in pacing, bald in exposition, and offers cast-of-hundreds spectacle.
September 22, 2011
A bewitching fantasy.
September 15, 2011
If nothing else, the film is colorful.
September 2, 2011
Chang Chia-lu's intricate script bristles with wit and suspense; the film from start to finish is a terrific entertainment.
September 2, 2011
Hark delivers a highly enjoyable alternative to Western blockbusters by simply keeping the narrative in flux with a series of well-executed sequences -- a cinema of distraction, if you will.
September 2, 2011
All this is loads of fun, but after a while sensory overload sets in, dulling the mind. Even in a kung-fu flick, more isn't always better.
September 2, 2011
Director Tsui Hark sets expansive melodrama against flamboyant sets, and the all-star cast is up for even the most outlandish of Sammo Hung's action choreography.
September 1, 2011
Some of the action in "Detective Dee" is computer-generated hallucination, some is just good-old life-threatening stunt work, but it is almost always a thrill.
September 1, 2011
Witty but not campy, grand without being unduly somber, it is a crazy, almost-coherent riot of intrigue, color and kineticism anchored by the charisma of its cast.
September 1, 2011
We'd call it Crouching Tiger, Freakin' Masterpiece.
September 1, 2011
What makes Detective Dee worthy of Hark is that the action is always thematically justified, underscoring who our champion is.
August 31, 2011
The film becomes more deliriously nonsensical by the moment, which is part of its intermittent charms...
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