Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame Blu-ray review

            The title is a mouthful, and it sounds like it is fashioned after the titles of Sherlock Holmes books, and their subsequent film version. Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame is therefore aptly titled, because it resembles the same type of mystery storyline of a Sherlock Holmes narrative, only set in the East with martial arts in replacement of boxing. There is also a bit of the supernatural and inhuman floating and fighting abilities.

            As the coronation of the first ever female ruler in China approaches, a mystery has befallen the construction of a giant statue. The soon-to-be Empress Wu Zetian (Carina Lau) is forced to retrieve the exiled detective, Dee Renjie (Andy Lau), in order to solve the mysterious deaths at the Imperial Palace. Detective Dee is appointed Judge of the Empire and uses his wisdom to solve the mystery of men being burned from the inside with flames.

            Sammo Hung provides the fight choreography, which is just as dominant as the mystery within the film. Part mystery and part action film, there is hardly a dull moment within this elaborate period film. Director Tsui Hark has created a true blockbuster, with elements of humor, romance, action and spectacle all wrapped into one film.

            The Blu-ray includes a making of featurette, along with featurettes on the weapons and stunt, the characters, and the world of Detective Dee. There is also a still and poster gallery and a trailer. The high definition presentation of the film is the highlight, however, especially with the visual spectacle that Detective Dee provides.  

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