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In my opinion,there's pluses and minuses in this latest Detective Dee movie. On the positive side, it's filled with colorful pageantry, well presented martial arts sequences, terrific acrobatics, and you can throw in an intriguing storyline involving sorcery and treachery.
The negatives, as I see it, are a somewhat overly long film, at around 2hrs. and 12min. as well as the movie being a little too confusing and complicated at times.
In the film, the intrepid Detective Dee has been awarded the super powerful Dragon-Taming Mace, by the Emperor, for his past heroism. However, his new struggles will be with the evil and power hungry Empress, as well as a reemerging cult that will utilize magic, illusions, and mind control to try and gain control of the Dynasty.
Overall, the movie, directed by Tsui Hark, offers rewards to those viewers that can just enjoy its special effects, colorful pageantry, and its intriguing twists and turns.
Muddled, over-long, and over-blown.
Nice imaginative CGI for a HK production. But the ending was way beyond simple.
Movie was way too long. Way too many computerized cheap looking graphics. Looks like the computer animation was done by a child. The previous detective dee rise of see dragon was way better and had a good storyline. This one heavenly king or whatever it’s called was way too boring of a story to follow. The fights were bad also. Maybe a few good fights but mostly boring. Almost 3 hour movie. Zzzzzzzz
The story is a complex, multi-character excerise in episodic storytelling. Thre is a full-bodied saga that unfolds in "The Four Heavenly Kings" that offers rich, creative characters drawing on layered back story that, although implied for a lot of the characters, very much recognizable and clear. The main cast give stellar performances potraying what has to be as fascinating a mythos as Disney's fairytale collection.
The special effects are extravagant, over-the-top displays that show a strong desire to "one up" Hollywood, and to a degree Bollywood" , producing a true to score blockbuster experience. I have to say that Tsui pulls it off marvelously. Obviously money wasn't a concern. Think ABC's 'Once Upon A Time' meets -well- Hong Kong! Overall "Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings" is a beautifully filmed fantasy tale of mythical mastery.
Non-stop spectacle, whether it's wire-fu, living dragon statues, giant albino gorillas, eyeball-covered beasts, or just the sets and costumes. Hey, Hollywood, this is how to do CGI fight scenes.