Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame

Tsui Hark (2010)

12 Certificate


Our Score
Forensic science, mystical forces and electrifying action combine to thrilling effect in this Asian box-office hit set in the seventh century. Andy Lau stars as the brilliant but treasonous lawman who's granted a reprieve by Empress Wu (Carina Lau) when two of her officials spontaneously combust. Fearing further deaths will compromise the safety of her impending coronation, she puts Lau in charge of the investigation, albeit under the watchful eyes of her female bodyguard (Li Bingbing) and a quick-tempered albino from the judiciary (Chau Deng). The trio's uneasy alliance creates some enjoyable sparks as they each try to gain the upper hand, but it's the supernatural elements of this medieval mystery that are the most interesting - the reclusive, shape-shifting Chaplain in particular being a wonderfully way-out creation. Seasoned director Tsui Hark (Seven Swords, Once upon a Time in China) blends ravishing scenery with skilfully choreographed set pieces, and keeps the story bounding along so that certain gaps in logic and character inconsistencies are forgotten about until the end credits roll. In the meantime, there's plenty of intrigue, excitement and adventure to dazzle, delight and amaze.


The 7th-century empress of China's plans for her inauguration are interrupted when two of her government officials die of spontaneous combustion. Suspecting foul play, she is forced to set free a master detective she had imprisoned to uncover the truth behind the unexplained deaths. Mystery adventure, with Andy Lau, Carina Lau and Tony Leung Ka Fai. In Mandarin and Spanish.

Cast & Crew

Detective Dee Andy Lau
Director Tsui Hark

Other Information

Language: Mandarin +subtitlesColourGuidance: Violence. Available on: DVD and Blu-ray