Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame Review

“Crouching Tiger meets Sherlock Holmes” – Now that’s what I’m talking about.

DETECTIVE DEE is an action-packed, visually breathtaking Sherlock Holmes-style mystery starring some of China’s top acting talent: Andy Lau, Bingbing Li, Carina Lau, and Tony Leung Ka-fai. Nominated for Best Special Effects at the 2011 Asian Film Awards and stunningly choreographed by master Sammo Hung, this intricately plotted whodunit is set in an exquisitely realized steampunk version of ancient China. “

Going back to 689 A.D, Wu Zetian was about to ascend to the throne and become the first Empress in Chinese history. To commemorate this significant moment in history, she had a gigantic Buddha statue built right in front of the palace (which sets the plot).

The movie began with two officials suddenly burning when under direct sunlight. This caused some concern since this could be the work of the rebellion movement. So Detective Dee, who was imprisoned for almost 8 years for conspiring against the female leader, was brought back to lead the investigation.

During the investigation, he was accompanied by Donglai, a court official, and Jing’er, the Empress’ trusted maiden. The three unwillingly joined together to solve the strange case of people mysteriously burning from the inside out.

It started out great, but then some parts were a little bit too “cheap production” for me. But overall, it was an entertaining and enjoyable movie.   7.5/10

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