Blu-ray Review “Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame”

Directed by: Tsui Hark
Starring: Andy Lau, Carina Lau, Li Bingbing, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Deng Chao
Distributed by: Vivendi Entertainment
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 122 minutes

Overall Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Right off the bat when you see the names Tsui Hark and Andy Lau together it is a guaranteed success. Tsui Hark is known for such greats as the “Once Upon a Time in China” series and “A Better Tomorrow” series. Andy Lau is amazing as usual and definitely adds great comedy to this film and also kick some serious ass in the fight scenes. The tagline on the box really says it all and I really can’t top it…”it’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon meets Sherlock Holmes”. That is a perfect description of this film. It has a little for everyone…it has a funny yet serious story, great choreography in the fight scenes and just visually stunning.

The story takes place in the year AD 690 just prior to the coronation of Empress Wu Zetian (Carina Lau). There are a bunch of mystery murders where men have burst into flames with no explanation. In order to avoid a delay in her coronation, she calls in Detective Dee (Andy Lau) to solve the case. He dives into the issue and uses his Sherlock Holmes-technique to get to the bottom of this mystery…and also does some kick-ass martial arts along the way.

The Blu-ray presentation is simply amazing. The video looks fantastic and only adds to the stunning visuals in the film. The sound is very crisp and the add a lot of the fights scenes. The special features on the film are great. “The Making of Detective Dee” is split into four parts focusing on the shooting and interviews from the cast/crew. “Creating the Characters” and “The World of Dee” are great features which goes into the character development. I think that Detective Dee is a great character and would love to see him in future installments. “Weapons, Stunts and Action” is also great and showcases the “wow” factor of the film. Lastly there is galleries from the production stills, posters and behind-the-scenes.

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