Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame


 Directed by Tsui Hark, action direction and martial arts choreography by Sammo Hung, starring Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Carina Lau, Bingbing Li and Chao deng.

This film is a gorgeous piece of whimsy and I’m glad that I saw it on the big screen. It is a lavish adventure story that exploits its exotic and historical setting with luscious art direction. The plot involves a most improbable murder mystery full of twists and turns and red herrings (hey, if it’s good enough for Agatha Christie it’s good enough for Tsui Hark). The story is (intentionally) fantastic as well as complicated but Tsui lets the film unfold at a good brisk pace and controls his sprawling plot with discipline. The acting is uniformly good, and Andy Lau proves to be an engaging hero. If you want a fun cinematic experience then I can highly recommend this film.

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11 Responses to Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame

  1. The trailer looks promising.


  2. I recommend it – a fun movie


  3. Will Silver says:

    Awesome, you saw this! I’ve been seeing lots of mediocre reviews, but I’ve been waiting for a review from a true fan and it sounds like it’s pretty fun! Looking forward to seeing it myself.


    • Fun is the operative word. It is not the greatest martial arts movie ever – even though the choreography is by Sammo Hung the focus is on style and not substance in terms of the fight sequences. But it’s a fun, reasonably entertaining popcorn movie


  4. A remake of Dragon Gate Inn? Should be interesting…


  5. Uncle Jasper says:

    I’ve been looking forward to this as well. Tsui Hark has sadly been off of my radar for a while now and I don’t think I’ve seen anything of his since the Zu Warriors sequel of like ten years ago (haven’t gotten to Seven Swords yet). Thanks for the review, will definitely give this a go.


  6. jpfmovies says:

    You beat us to it, Dangerous!


  7. CeeFu says:

    ABSOLUTELY! You know how Tsui Hark can go overboard sometimes with the special effects at the expense of a little thing called plot? This was just right! I like it!


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