The Mongolian Border, 1979: Massive fossils of unknown creatures are discovered in the mountains, and the research team assigned to excavate the remains includes acclaimed Professor Yang (...
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In 1988, the three Mojin(tomb raider), Hu Bayi, Wang Kaixuan, and Shirley Yang, retires and relocates to New York. While Bayi and Shirley have become romantically involved and Kaixuan feels... See full summary »
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The Mongolian Border, 1979: Massive fossils of unknown creatures are discovered in the mountains, and the research team assigned to excavate the remains includes acclaimed Professor Yang (Wang Qingxiang), Hu Bayi (Mark Chao), and Ping (Yao Chen), the professor's beautiful daughter. When a freak explosion, lethal bat attack, and fall to the mountain's floor leaves only a handful of survivors, the small remaining band uncovers a mythic Cyclopean Temple - and an Interdimensional Portal that looses a pack of ravenous Hell-Beasts, leaving only Hu alive. New York City, Present Day: Now living a quiet but tormented life as a librarian, Hu studies demonology manuscripts to find answers for that fateful day. Little does he know that Professor Yang has just been found wandering the mountains thousands of miles from where he supposedly died; a young woman with amnesia was just discovered in a recently-uncovered tomb; and a Northern Chinese mining town has just been ravaged by giant, unknown ...
1979 in a distant area near Mongolia, huge monster skulls are discovered. The exploration team finds a way to the ghost temple, where dangerous beings can get through a portal. Not only the big "hell hounds", but also the tiny "fire bats", whose mere touch burns human beings to ashes. Hu Bayi (Mark Chao) survives and reads occult literature to understand better what has happened to the team. The movie continues with the second expedition probably in 1988, not "present day" as many reviewers wrote mistakenly, because we see a 1985 calendar and then get a subtitle '3 years later'. Also Hu Bayi is not an old man yet. Anyhow, he meets his lost love Ping, who now calls herself Shirley and pretends not to know him. The second expedition takes them to a destroyed desert town, and then the monsters reappear. What will happen when the portal gets opened again?
This fantasy movie is a bit complicated, not telling the events chronologically, but jumping between 1979, 1985 and 1988 (?). It's not too easy on the audience, but it's worth paying attention. The 3D effects work well, especially in the cave scenes when you really feel you can look down into the depths. I'm not entirely satisfied with the monsters, as the jumps don't look real. For the weight they must have, they jump much too high, looks a bit like rubber balls. Anyhow, the story satisfies, and the effects are still pretty good apart from minor grudges.
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