Mojin: The Lost Legend (2015)

Mojin-Poster-1080Mojin: The Lost Legend [鬼吹灯之寻龙诀] (2015)
AKA The Ghouls

Starring Chen Kun, Huang Bo, Shu Qi, Angelababy, Xia Yu, Liu Xiao-Qing, Cherry Ngan Cheuk-Ling, Jonathan Kos-Read

Directed by Wuershan

Expectations: Moderate. Trailer makes it look fun.


On the surface, Mojin: The Lost Legend is about venturing into elaborate tombs and hunting for ancient treasure, but it has a much sweeter heart than that suggests. The film is actually about letting go, which is fitting for a film so entrenched in the idea of delving deep into the past. Don’t get me wrong, Mojin is full of adventurous tomb raiding, explosions and zombies, it’s just that it doesn’t end there. There’s a moral to the story.

Hu Baiyi (Chen Kun), Wang Kaixuan (Huang Bo) and Shirley Yang (Shu Qi) are Mojin Xiaowei, professional tomb raiders equipped with their quick wits and a trusty compass attuned to find treasure. But when we first meet them, they have retired and moved to New York. They are legendary and skilled, but here they are selling trinkets out of their coats in a New York alleyway. To be honest, I missed why they decided to give it all up, but it doesn’t really matter because this is the beginning of the movie and of course they come out of retirement! And because this is a movie and things are always related, the job that does the trick has direct ties to when Hu Baiyi and Wang Kaixuan were among the educated youth living in a remote part of Inner Mongolia.

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Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen (2010)

Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen [精武风云] (2010)

Starring Donnie Yen, Shu Qi, Anthony Wong, Huang Bo, Kohata Ryu, Yasuaki Kurata, Zhou Yang, Huo Siyan, Shawn Yue, Ma Yue, Ma Su, Chen Jiajia, Zhang Songwen, Lü Xiaolin

Directed by Andrew Lau

Expectations: Moderate, I heard this wasn’t that good.

I’m a huge fan of Donnie Yen and I’d love to come out and say that everybody needs to check out the latest of his films to hit stateside. I’d be lying through my teeth if I did though, because Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen is a major disappointment. I even went into the movie with tempered expectations after hearing it was just alright, but the actuality of watching it was even worse than I had prepared myself for. This is a real shame because Donnie Yen in the role of Chen Zhen sounds like an awesome setup to me.

The film opens during World War I where Donnie Yen and some fellow Chinese brethren are doing their best to stay alive amidst the explosions in the devastated war zone. Yen eventually kicks it into high-gear and single-handedly annihilates the opposing force with a mix of superhero spunk and martial skill. The action here is ridiculously over-the-top & unbelievable but it’s incredibly fun. If only the rest of the film could keep up the pace and boisterous nature of these opening moments.

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