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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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 ...
While walking through the town the shadows of multiple creatures have the sunlight from different positions. See more »
The life you choose may not persist. The death you choose may not exist.
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Composed by Ben McKee, Dan Platzman, Dan Reynolds, Wayne Sermon, Alexander Grant and Josh Mosser
Produced by Alexander Grant
Performed by Imagine Dragons
Courtesy of KIDinaKORNER and Interscope Records See more »
Classic case of style over substance with modern eye candy
This movie is a prime example on how a few good individual parts alone can't make a great movie. It has arguably one of the better animations from Chinese films, gorgeous cinematography and intriguing occult mystery premise, yet the plot is thin and superficial. If a comparison could be made, the movie resembles video game, it literally jumps through outlandishly eye-catching set pieces and while they might look attractive, the working narrative is extremely disjointed.
Story mainly follows Hu Bayi as a member of archaeology team sent to uncover ancient secrets. He then meets with Yang Ping, the love interest and soon enough become the reason he volunteers for more dangerous mission. Eventually, the team finds creatures, relics, disasters and all sorts of oddities that the movie barely explains. Characters are ridiculously plain. Hu Bayi himself mostly follows order and narrates the plot while the heroine Yang Ping is depicted as mysterious female.
These personalities are lacking depth, especially when the movie introduces a couple of comic reliefs that don't matter much for story. The plot has the same problems from Jackie Chan's The Myth from years ago, it's too flamboyant for the sake of fantasy appeal that it doesn't have much continuity or clarity. It merely throws around some over-the-top fantasy gibberish to usher in new shiny sequences.
Fortunately, it does have some flashy spectacles. There's a clear investment on the visual presentation. The scenes are gorgeous, be it may the blue horizon from snow mountain or the trek across the desert. It's set in the right era with good nods to ancient trinkets and modern vibe, almost looking like The Mummy franchise for costume and design. Cinematography takes full advantage of the exotic location, the lightning, buildings and even details like banners or furniture add to the atmosphere.
Special effect is top notch, there are a few moments when the cameras pan to the beasts and you can see the fur waving around in the wind or how the chains rattle on their neck. It's a definite improvement from stiff CG many Chinese movies used even in last year. There's a bit of imperfection with the editing and practical effect, but when the overall scene looks so inviting, it's entirely forgivable.
In the end Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe will leave audience with many aesthetically pleasing stages and also unsatisfied feeling on the story.
24 of 26 people found this review helpful.
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