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The Lost Empire (2001)

TV Movie  -   -  Adventure | Fantasy  -  11 March 2001 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 1,270 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 9 critic

American journalist Nick Orton is caught up in the world of Chinese gods and monsters while on a search for the long lost manuscript to 'Hsi Yu Chi' (The Journey to the West) by Wu Ch'eng ... See full summary »

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Title: The Lost Empire (TV Movie 2001)

The Lost Empire (TV Movie 2001) on IMDb 5.4/10

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Nicholas Orton
...
...
...
...
...
...
Shu
Henry O ...
Wu Chan Yen
Kay Sui Lim ...
Subodhi
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Professor Sheng
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Marcus Harding
Sai-Kit Yung ...
Jade Emperor (as Stuart Ong)
Kwong Loke ...
Imperial Crier
...
Skeleton Demon
...
Big Demon (as Turbo)
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Storyline

American journalist Nick Orton is caught up in the world of Chinese gods and monsters while on a search for the long lost manuscript to 'Hsi Yu Chi' (The Journey to the West) by Wu Ch'eng En. He is accompanied on his journey by a humanoid ape with incredible strength and magical powers, a humanoid pig-man, and his brother-in-arms, an ex-cannibal. Based on one of the greatest stories in Chinese history. Written by Lawrence De Meza <demzalf@earthlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Journey to a world where kingdoms fall and heroes rise. See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Fantasy

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Language:

|

Release Date:

11 March 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Monkey King  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Uses several visual ideas from "The Monkey King" television series from the 1960s. See more »

Connections

References Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Absurd but enjoyable
7 March 2003 | by (Ankara, Turkey) – See all my reviews

The Lost Empire, or The Monkey King, as it was called when I saw it on the Hallmark Network, is a silly film, but a very enjoyable one. It attempts to put a new spin on the Chinese classic, Journey to the West, which tells the story of how a monk went on an epic journey to recover some sacred scriptures, aided by the mischievous Monkey King, the gluttonous Pigsy and the sombre Sandy.

In this modern version the companions are the same, but the monk is replaced by a modern American sinologist, and the "scripture" is the original manuscript of Journey to the West itself, which is about to be destroyed by the "five traditional masters", who represent the forces of conservatism. Confused? It gets worse; if the book is destroyed, all the human progress that has taken place since the book was written will be reversed and the world will revert to feudalism. To cap it all, the Jade Emperor, Confucius and Kuan Yin, the goddess of compassion, are all weighing in.

With a scenario like this, the film cannot help but being absurd in places, but the absurdity, intentional or otherwise, is part of the fun, as it was in the original Journey to the West, which is a comedy as well as an analogy of the spiritual journey. Viewers who have read Journey to the West will enjoy the references to it; others can sit back and enjoy the visual richness, which as well as some spectacular scenes and SFX, includes Bai Ling as Kuan Yin, looking far more sexy than a goddess of compassion ought to (but then that's one of the twists in this tale as well).


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