6.6/10
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42 user 126 critic

Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2010)

Di renjie: Tong tian di guo (original title)
Trailer
2:11 | Trailer
An exiled detective is recruited to solve a series of mysterious deaths that threaten to delay the inauguration of Empress Wu.

Director:

Hark Tsui

Writers:

Chia-Lu Chang (screenplay), Kuo-Fu Chen | 1 more credit »
10 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Ka Fai Leung ... Shatuo Zhong
Chao Deng ... Pei Donglai
Carina Lau ... Empress Wu Zetian
Bingbing Li ... Shangguan Jing'er (as Li Bing Bing)
Andy Lau ... Detective Dee
Jean-Michel Casanova Jean-Michel Casanova ... General Aspar (as Michel)
Sos Haroyan Sos Haroyan ... Assistant to Umayyad Ambassador
Jialin Zhao ... Interpreter
Yan Qin ... Jia Yi
Jinshan Liu Jinshan Liu ... Xue Yong
Aaron C. Shang Aaron C. Shang ... Shaizi (as Aaron Shang)
Deshun Wang Deshun Wang ... Xiazi Ling
Mickey He ... Prison Officer (as Shenming He)
Lu Yao Lu Yao ... Li Xiao
Yanming Jiang ... 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

Taglines:

The truth shall be unveiled. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bingbing Li had no experience in martial arts. She also had to learn how to use various weapons for the role including a whip and a sword. See more »

Goofs

When the Crown Prince is killed by an arrow piercing his forehead, he has just won a board game similar to Go, except with blue & orange jewels instead of the traditional smooth stones. He starts picking up his pieces, then slams them down again shortly before he is shot. But as he crashes down onto the large board, a neat space has suddenly been cleared for the actor's head to impact safely - or possibly this was the result of a previous take. 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 »

User Reviews

 
Enjoyed the original setting and storytelling
4 October 2010 | by wapt-861-241160See all my reviews

I loved many of Tsui Hark's epics from the 80s/90s, but haven't seen anything from the director recently, so I probably went in with fairly neutral expectations.

This was an enjoyable ride. Like others have noted, it's comparable to a Chinese "Sherlock Holmes" (the recent Guy Ritchie version), or a movie-length, Tang-dynasty-set "CSI". Overall, it was a rather original experience - more than I can say for most movies nowadays. There are several intriguing characters and the pace and acting are solid. While the central murder mystery - whodunnit and howdunnit - is not exactly a head-scratcher, it does provide a good structure for some exciting and beautiful visuals.

Was the CGI completely up to the director's vision? Definitely not, but to naysayers, I say, loosen up! The budget for this movie is less than that of a typical Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy! I appreciated and enjoyed the whole movie enough that I wasn't overly distracted by the not-so-special effects.


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Details

Country:

China | Hong Kong

Language:

Mandarin | Spanish

Release Date:

30 September 2010 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

狄仁杰之通天帝国 See more »

Filming Locations:

Beijing, China See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$52,617, 4 September 2011

Gross USA:

$459,836

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$51,899,269
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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