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Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame

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In year 689 of the Tang Dynasty, China's future empress (Carina Lau) frees an imprisoned detective (Andy Lau) to solve a series of mysterious deaths that threaten to delay the inauguration of Empress Wu.
119 min
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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
There is nothing wrong with its reach, but its grasp of genre elements is random.
October 20, 2011
Seattle Times
By the end, with the running time pushing past the two-hour mark, it's reasonable to ask: Just who are these people?
September 26, 2011
Critic's Notebook
What's tragic about "Detective Dee" is the fact that it rapes a chapter of Chinese history beyond any semblance of reality.
October 07, 2015
Film Comment Magazine
The film's visual style is at times so dense it simply overwhelms (ditto the plot).
October 09, 2011
Washington Post
"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.
September 23, 2011