Neum's Review of Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
While it mostly apes various splinter genres of the Chinese historical epic / fantasy action film, Detective Dee adds a visual panache and keeps a certain story integrity to make the style feel at least somewhat unique. The central mystery is probably over-explained at times, and I never got a strong sense that Dee was a brilliant, Holmesian detective (to match what the story kept insisting to the audience), despite (or maybe because of) Andy Lau's over-serious countenance. But there are a few wonderfully-realized sequences (such as the Phantom Bazaar scenes) that kept the film from falling into completely boring rehash. Though the film is probably 20 minutes too long and needed a lot of tightening in the script, I'm keeping my eye open for any possible future Detective Dee films.