Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
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Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
A period epic from genre master Tsui Hark, Detective Dee is an action-packed, visually breathtaking Sherlock Holmes-style mystery starring some of China's top acting talent. Stunningly choreographed by master Sammo Hung, this intricately plotted whodunit is set in an exquisitely realized steampunk version of ancient China. On the eve of her coronation as Empress (Carina Lau), China's most powerful woman is haunted by a chilling murder mystery: seven men under her command have burst into flames, leaving behind only black ash and skeletal bones. Recognizing this threat to her power, she… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It is a peculiar conflation of history -- there really was an Empress Wu -- and pure cinematic fantasy."
‑ Richard Nilsen, Arizona Republic
""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."
‑ John DeFore, Washington Post
"The game's afoot, and the foot knows kung fu."
‑ John Beifuss, Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
"The film's visual style is at times so dense it simply overwhelms (ditto the plot)."
‑ Chris Chang, Film Comment Magazine
"Directed by the master Tsui Hark, 'Detective Dee' is one rip-snorting piece of action-movie eye candy,"
‑ James Verniere, Boston Herald
"By the end, with the running time pushing past the two-hour mark, it's reasonable to ask: Just who are these people?"
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"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."
‑ Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader
"There is nothing wrong with its reach, but its grasp of genre elements is random."
‑ Duane Dudek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"The huge budget fails to hide a certain poverty of imagination."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"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."
‑ Norman Wilner, NOW Toronto
"Detective Dee is the action flick of the year, a two-hour epic that blows the Pirates of the Caribbean to the Bermuda Triangle."
‑ Stephen Cole, Globe and Mail
"A colourful carnival of relentless action and artful images."
‑ Linda Barnard, Toronto Star
"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."
‑ Mike Russell, Oregonian
"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."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"A computer-generated fantasia where something as ridiculous as a fistfight that occurs while the fighters are on the backs of two different horses entertains us because it is so audaciously unreal."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
More reviews for Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame on Rotten Tomatoes

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