Thriller, fantasy, action, adventure and not leaving out a final sprinkle of romance, Mojin: The Lost Legend;鬼吹灯之寻龙诀 has set a record-breaking box office sales in China with its spectacular visual effects praised with numerous and reviews. In Singapore this week, the movie has opened strong in and all theatres, entering the box office chart at number 3.
The story took place in the late 1980s and revolved around a mystery of the Equinox flower. Led by Hu Bayi, played by Chen Kun 陈坤, the Mojin trio with his fiancée Shirley Yang, played by Shu Qi 舒淇, and Wang Kaixuan, played by Huang Bo 黄渤, gave up their intentions to settle in America and headed back to Mongolia with hopes to unravel the mystery in the tomb.
This mystery of the Equinox Flower was first introduced by Hu Bayi’s first love Ding SiTian, played by Angelababy, twenty years ago. In an unforeseen exploration, Hu, Wang and Ding chanced upon a baffling scene with the rising of the dead. Then, the thrill sets in as the audience were swept into a hair-rising suspense and thrilling battle against the living dead. Eventually, the leads escaped the place but were left devastated with the sacrifice of Ding. Twenty years later, the trio set out once more with clues of the whereabout of the Equinox flower but stumbled upon something they least expected, the past battle where they lost Ding.
It is definitely no surprise that visual effects played a critical role in establishing the setting of the story as characters weaved in and out of the maze underground. However, the movie excelled with intense acting from its professional cast consisting of top Chinese actors and actresses. Led by acclaimed director Wu Ershan whose works include blockbuster hit Painted Skin: The Resurrection 画皮II (2012), the cast shone through the support of visual effects and left a deep impression among the audience. Speaking objectively, the cast was indeed outstanding and well-suited for their roles, especially Xia Yu and Huang Bo who were a comic pair and never failed to ease the tension in the movie. Not to mention, I was a fan of Shu Qi and thus was biased towards the lead couple, Chen Kun and Shu Qi, who kept their cool personalities in the movie.
While the movie received mixed western critics, I highly recommend the movie to brave souls or movie-goers who seek for adventure, thrill, action and the enjoyment of stunning visual entertainment. I do share concerns with reviews which question the creativity of the movie sets as varied locations seemed to be “interchangeable”. However, the film had a rich storyline and the cast gave an impressive performance which blew me away. The ending left a lot to be desired but the film still concluded well as the two male leads struggled to overcome the guilt they held towards Ding’s death and ease their emotional burdens.
Mojin: The Lost Legend is now showing in theatres in Dolby Digital format.