Film Review: Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings (2018) by Tsui Hark

First of all, who is Detective Dee? For those who don’t know him already, Dee Renjie was a magistrate in the Tang dynasty, a guarantor of the Tang Code, highly revered by Empress Wu Zetian for his logical nature and honesty. Later in history, his life inspired the fictional character of a crime-solving magistrate called Judge Dee in some historical “whodunit” novels, virtually unknown to the West if it wasn’t for Dutch diplomat and writer Robert van Gulik who – at the beginning of 1900 – picked up an old copy of the novels in a second hand shop and decided to rewrite his own version of the Chinese Detective. And here we are, the modern version of the popular Detective Dee is a true product of Orientalism and yet very appealing and intriguing.

Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings will be released in UK cinemas 27 July, by Cine Asia

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