Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame Reviews
"Dee" doesn't shoot for the gravitas of Zhang Yimou's "Hero." It doesn't approach that film's magnificent sensory impact, either, or the artistic romanticism that made "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" such a success here.
Director Tsui Hark sets expansive melodrama against flamboyant sets, and the all-star cast is up for even the most outlandish of Sammo Hung's action choreography.
Three decades into his career, Tsui Hark stands as one of the movies' great entertainers, displaying a dancer's sense of rhythm and movement and manipulating physical space with an abandon worthy of Chuck Jones.
Hark delivers a highly enjoyable alternative to Western blockbusters by simply keeping the narrative in flux with a series of well-executed sequences -- a cinema of distraction, if you will.
If you're looking for a popcorn movie, producer-director Tsui has crafted an absurdist fantasy that might cure -- or spontaneously combust -- the summertime blues. But even escapist entertainment can have interesting angles.