Mojin: 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.