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Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2010)
"Di Renjie: Tong tian di guo" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  30 September 2010 (China)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 7,512 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 36 user | 117 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

An exiled detective is recruited to solve a series of mysterious deaths that threaten to delay the inauguration of Empress Wu.

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(screenplay) (as Jialu Zhang) , , 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Shatuo Zhong
...
Pei Donglai
...
...
Shangguan Jing'er (as Li Bing Bing)
...
Jean-Michel Casanova ...
General Aspar (as Michel)
Sos Haroyan ...
Assistant to Umayyad Ambassador
Jialin Zhao ...
Interpreter
Yan Qin ...
Jia Yi
Jinshan Liu ...
Xue Yong
Aaron Shang ...
Shaizi
Deshun Wang ...
Xiazi Ling
Mickey He ...
Prison Officer (as Shenming He)
Lu Yao ...
Li Xiao
...
Undertaker
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Storyline

In 689 A.D., the Empress Wu Zetian is building a 66 m high statue of Buddha for her inauguration as the first empress of China under the objections and conspiracy of the other clans. When the engineer responsible for the construction mysteriously dies by spontaneous combustion, the superstitious workers are afraid since the man removed the good luck charms from the main pillar. There is an investigation of Pei Donglai and another investigator that also dies after withdrawing the amulets. Empress Wu assigns her loyal assistant Shangguan Jing'er to release the exiled Detective Dee from his imprisonment to investigate with Donglai and Jing'er the mystery of the deaths. They ride in a mystic and epic adventure to unravel the mystery. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images and some sexuality. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

30 September 2010 (China)  »

Also Known As:

Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$81,262 (USA) (23 September 2011)

Gross:

$262,636 (USA) (23 September 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the lead role as Di Renjie, Hark Tsui originally had 'Ka-fai, Tony Leung', along with 'Chiu-Wai, Tony Leung' in mind. See more »

Goofs

The Iberic Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) was conquered by the Umayyad Arabs from 711 AD onwards, so a Spanish speaking Umayyad Ambassador to the Chinese Imperial court at the end of the 7th century AD would predate this conquest. See more »

Quotes

Empress Wu Zetian: Remember, when one's aim is to achieve greatness... everyone is expendable.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Breath of fresh air.
15 September 2011 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

Detective Dee is a real fun and solid movie with breath-taking cinematography from Tsui Hark, a pretty legendary filmmaker from Hong Kong.

It's is a bizarre martial arts fantasy mystery film (yes). The story is both taken from historical China and derived from a novel series (series, so look for sequels). It's a frequently zany mystery with tons of twists that might have your head spinning...or you might just be completely lost. Go with that feeling and expect it.

The story follows Detective Dee (Andy Lau) as he's brought out of imprisonment to investigate a series of murders during the lead-up to the coronation of the first female Empress of China (played by Carina Lau). The movie feels almost like a flurry of ridiculous events, which is pretty great and really different from anything that's coming out of Hollywood these days. To enjoy this movie, go in with an open mind and remember...it's in subtitles.


6 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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