[Last Fime I Saw] Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2010)

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame poster

English Title: Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
Original Title: Di Renjie 狄仁杰之通天帝国
Year: 2010
Country: China, Hong Kong
Language: Mandarin
Genre: Action, Crime
Director: Hark Tsui 徐克
Writers:
Chen Kuo-fu 陈国富
Robert van Gulik
Zhang Jialu 张家鲁
Music: Peter Kam 金培达
Cinematography: Chan Chi-ying 陈志英, Pakse Chan 陈楚强
Cast:
Andy Lau 刘德华
Carina Lau 刘嘉玲
Li Bingbing 李冰冰
Deng Chao 邓超
Tony Ka Fai Leung 梁家辉
Teddy Robin Kwan 泰迪·罗宾
 Liu Jinshan 刘金山
Yao Lu 姚橹
Richard Ng 吴耀汉
Jean-Michel Casanova
Wang Deshun 王德顺
Chen Xiao 陈晓
Rating: 6.9/10

Hark Hsui is one of the most prestigious living HK director, his unconstrained imagination and the possess of a virtual martial world establishes his world-famously unique style in the world.

Detective Dee is his newest opus which is also a genuinely ambitious one, the big budget and costly cast seem to manifest that it is a venturous gamble, as his several previous films MISSING (2008), ALL ABOUT WOMEN (2008) and THE SEVEN SWORDS (2005)) all failed unceremoniously in the domestic box office.

As an admirer of his oeuvre, it’s a great relief and I’m even somewhat surprised to find out that the film excels itself in the visual concussion, the cloud-kissing Empress statue and phantom bazaar are the steady proof of the top-notch mastery of CGI in a Chinese film.

By the contrast the script cannot be complacent, the well-drafted manoeuvre fail to convey certain convincing narrative, the dialogues are bland and the emotional link is sometimes even out of context. Anyway, as a detective story, the twist-and-turn is moderately predictable but a safe play as well, which I could appreciate it for a no-pee-moment 120 minutes.

In view of a crowded market of period films aiming at ancient China, the status quo is a bit disappointing because aesthetic fatigue makes audience pickier and pickier, plus a heavier budget could really hurt the investors, the current trend is unhealthy for the booming market, I am looking forward to expecting a more kaleidoscopic hotchpotch in Chinese cinematic region.

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5 thoughts on “[Last Fime I Saw] Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2010)

  1. Pingback: [Last Film I Saw] The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate | A Breathless Trail

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  3. Pingback: [Last Film I Saw] Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon (2013) [6/10] | Cinema Omnivore

  4. Pingback: [Last Time I Saw] Reign Of Assassins (2010) | Cinema Omnivore

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