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 ...
Action packed movie, but a confusing mess of a story...
The synopsis for "Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe" (aka "Jiu ceng yao ta") does make this sort of feel like a mixture between the traditional Asian martial arts movie mixed up with a hefty doze of "Tomb Raider" or "Indiana Jones". And this is also what the movie turned out to be, to some extend...
Visually then "Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe" was indeed a nice treat for the eyes to behold on the screen. Lots of great things, details in the scenes, props, costumes, etc. to look at. But the story just failed to have all that shine and luster that the visuals had.
The story turned out to be a confusing scramble of an attempt of writing a coherent storyline, and it just lacked that all-important red thread that ties it all together. And on that account, the movie just became something of a visual presentation of various effects and Visuals, more than it was a story-based and story-driven movie. Which ended up being a hindrance for the movie.
Now, whether this was the fault of director Chuan Lu or the fault of writers Chuan Lu, Bobby Roth and Nick Roth, I can only guess of course. But I am prone to lean towards the writers.
The characters in the movie were well enough details and chiseled out on the screen, but they just were run over by the confusion of the entire movie, which overshadowed everything. And it should also be noted that they had indeed managed to get together a good ensemble of acting talents to star in the movie, just a shame that they had virtually no script or storyline to work with.
There are far better forays into the adventure genre, even in Asian cinema, and as such, then "Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe" is hardly the type of movie that you will watch more than a single time.
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