Fifth about The Seventh

Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings (Di Renjie Zhi Si Da Tian Wang)

Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings: the plot of Tsui Hark’s fantasy action film is a bit too busy with different factions, prospective villains and heroes; it all eventually makes sense, but the confusion lingers for too long and it just results in something that could be less bloated. Everything is colorful, starting with the characters themselves: a lot of them are moustache-twirling villains and naïve straight-arrow heroes, but they are all distinctive and unique in their (shallow, granted) demeanour. Visually, even more so: Akatsuka Yoshihito’s production design is lavish (almost excessively so, but that is an expected form of expression of the characters), and the same can be said about the costume design and character design. Visual effects and make-up are not up to par, falling in the cheesy realm. The action, pure fantasy high wire wuxia, is a lot of fun to watch. The performances are stylized, which fits the general aesthetics and tone; Mark Chao as the title character is the more grounded of them all.

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