SYNOPSIS: An ancient tomb. Booby traps. Endless swarms of vicious spiders. To find her brother, she'll face all of it head-on.
Chinese star Li Bingbing reunites with her Transformers: Age of Extinction co-star Kelsey Grammer in this horribly generic co-production between Australia and China.
Also known as 7 Guardians of the Tomb, Li and ex-pop idol Wu Chun plays a pair of siblings, seemingly at odds but actually loves each other, you know liked any other siblings in real-life. So when Wu’s Luke went missing after an expedition gone wrong in the Gobi desert, Li and the CEO of Biotech Corporation, Dr. Mason (Grammer) decides to pull together a team including rescue specialist, Jack (Twilight’s Kellan Lutz), local guide Chen (Jason Chong), logistics expert Milly (Stef Dawson) and driver Gary (Shane Jacobson) to travel to the site to locate Luke and his partner.
Directed and written by Kimble Rendall who brought you another B movie, Bait which had sharks swimming in a supermarket years ago decides to deal with funnel web spiders in a 200BC built Chinese Emperor’s tomb this time round. With an underground tomb, exotic desert location, booby traps and creepy critters, Guardians of the Tomb reminds one of the incredibly cheesy but entertaining Brendan Fraser’s franchise, The Mummy one and two except Guardians lacks the excitement and soul to make you root for the heroes.
Of course Li Bingbing is 100% game on in tackling her part as a creepy-crawly expert and her English is surprisingly good. Kellan Lutz is O’Connell and Indiana Jones rolled into one and his physique is more than convincing enough to kill a few spiders even though they are done in post-production. Wu Chun appears only in the prologue and near to the end so his fans might want to dial down their expectations. And without a doubt, Grammer’s character is far more sinister than the gigantic CGI spider.
Despite a busy screenplay that churned out an electrical storm, a crumbling bridge and a couple of mummified bodies, Guardians simply couldn’t find the momentum and thrill to last even for a brief 90 minutes. The dialogue is stilted; the reason for finding an ancient elixir is a poor excuse and the frequent close-ups on the CGI creatures are absolutely pointless. To be fair, the production values on display are pretty presentable unfortunately that’s about all we could recommend for this lifeless adventure.
Review by Linus Tee