Based on the iconic figure of Di Renjie, a legendary minister of state in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) who was known for his ability to solve the most complicated cases, Tsui Hark’s Detective Dee is a uniquely appealing counterpart to his modern western equivalent, Sherlock Holmes.
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Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom FlameDirected byHark Tsui
Hark's dedication to (intentionally) bad CGI is kind of radical in a deconstructive sense, but also a problem, denying the brilliant martial arts choreography of Sammo Hung some of its natural, visceral energy. Nonetheless, it's a remarkable film, employing a genuinely interesting murder mystery narrative, with sidelines into political conspiracy & magical realism, with the bold & expressive stylisation of the Wuxia.
To me, Tsui pushed the aesthetics of his CGI/3D-heavy style further since this film. Still, this supernatural mystery genre is fun and approachable, even for a Westerner unfamiliar with its references to Chinese storytelling and Hong Kong filmmaking. Tsui beautifully echoes the posturing, push-ins and layering of visual planes of wuxia films, especially in a breathless mid-film battle in the sewers.
An extremely fun and entertaining movie. I like my chinese action movies exactly like this: over the top. The scene where the main character has to fight off possessed deer makes the whole movie worth it. That being said it is truly beautifully shot with spectacular production design. Pure entertainment.
Tsui Hark is back, let the word be spread. Remember Robert Hans van Gulik's Judge Ti wonderful books ? DETECTIVE DEE is, if I'm not mistaken, the first full-length movie devoted to this character. If you like action movies, this one is clearly for you. Also note that the film was acclaimed by Positif as well as by Les Cahiers du Cinéma !! Masterpiece.
Not at all like the great series of mystery novels by Robert van Gulik, but rather much like a Chinese version of the Guy Ritchie/Robert Downey, Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies, in which a great detective character is placed in the middle of some gigantic souped-up plot. Tsui is in great form, with fabulous vistas and flabbergasting plot points (e.g. the statue, spontaneous human combustion, and the deer).
Kind of ridiculous only in that kung-fu epic sort of way that's both serious and outrageous. The fight sequences are great but the story seemed to suffer from being a bit muddled. I guess without the historical context applied to the film, the characters played a little flat, even Detective Dee himself. Still fun though some awful CGI does hurt the film. It just looks bad and unconvincing.
(Vu Kekparsurleweb) Distrayant sur le moment, aussitôt oublié. Une production lisse et sans génie comme il y en a tant parmi les films d'action chinois en ce moment...Comme d'habitude, Tsui Hark abuse trop des câbles pour les cascades, mais sa mise en scène semble (et c'est pour le mieux) un peu plus lisible que d'habitude ici.