Director: Kevin Chu
Cast: Jay Chou, Lin Chiling, Chen Daoming,
Eric Tsang, Miao Pu, River Chen, Will Liu, Kenneth Tsang
RunTime: 1 hr 46 mins
Released By: GV & Scorpio East Pictures
& Mediacorp Raintree Pictures
Official Website: http://www.treasurehunter.com.tw/
Opening Day: 31 December 2009
In the northwest desert where countless prosperous dynasties have flourish and fallen, there is rumour of a buried treasure of unbelievable riches. A group of mysterious guardians have kept the map to the location of the treasure safe, until a fierce rivalry erupts. A notorious international crime group, The Company hunt down the map keepers and before they manage to secure it, the keeper passes the map to a young chivalrous man Ciao Fei (Jay Chou). Ciao Fei is forced to give up the map to save the live of his mentor's daughter Lan Ting (Lin Chi Ling). Teaming up with Hua Ding Bang (a famous archaeologist) and Lan Ting they embark on a dangerous journey to recover the map and fight to protect the ancient treasure.
In less than a decade or so, Jay Chou has emerged as one of
Asia’s most bankable star thanks to his musical abilities
which makes him a chart-topper with every album he has released.
Since then, the multi-talented artiste has tried his hand
as a MTV director, a full-pledged movie director (Secret),
a businessman who co-owns restaurants and the occasional actor
(Curse of the Golden Flower, Kung Fu Dunk).
a role that is tailored to showcase his aura of 'coolness'
to the maximum, Chou plays Qiaofeng, a treasure protector
who must rescued the kidnap of his boss’s estranged
daughter, Lan Ting (Lin Chiling) from Pork Rib (Eric Tsang).
Rib wants Lan Ting’s father to hand him the map to the
Lost City whereby treasures are believed to be buried underneath.
Together with them is Hua (Chen Daoming), a famous archaeologist
who made an ill-fated trip to the Lost City years ago with
a group of his friends.
and many other mumbo-jumbo about the Sandstorm Legion and
Eagle of the Desert turned this fantasy adventure into an
immensely dreary affair. With a script-writing team consisting
no less than five writers and supervised by the acclaimed
Ivy Ho, the lackluster script is a gleaming example of why
too many cooks spoiled the soup. Plotlines that seem important
one minute, disappear the next and many characters float in
and out without apparently any substantial reason to be there.
Some are simply setup to fight against our dear Qiaofeng for
example Will Liu Geng Hong’s character and River Chen
who plays the mysterious yet laughable 'Eagle of the Desert'.
Of course Chiling is the damsel in distress cum love interest,
Eric Tsang provides comic relief and Mainland actor Chen Daoming
like his onscreen character seems entirely detached from the
whole movie. Miao Pu is the only actress in this movie that
excites our senses with her somewhat similar facial features
to a certain megastar, Michelle Yeoh.
man, Jay Chou of course is at his usual self playing the aloofness
hero who can’t determine he likes Lan Ting or not. His
character is the combination of both Indiana Jones and Rick
O’ Connell (from The Mummy) but lacks the charm and
wits of both. Perhaps it’s the truckload of mushy and
uninteresting dialog that kills the chemistry between Chou
and Chiling but top model and squeaky-voiced Lin Chiling in
her second cinematic outing after "Red Cliff" passes
off nothing more as a 'beautiful actress' to ogle at.
what’s left in this Kevin Chu’s movie is the rated
'A' production values that is simply on par with any decent
Hollywood’s output. Watch out for the 'Inn & Beer'
seen in the beginning, the 'Traveller’s Village' and
the finale set design which are visual enriching. The lush
cinematography and the score by our local Ricky Ho really
help to kill the time too. Tony Ching’s action choreography
on the other hand is disappointing with plenty of unnecessary
slow-mo shots and wirefu works that worked better in the decade
old "The Matrix" or the next Jay Chou’s MTV.
is a quiet year for Chinese productions. Unless you are a
die-hard fan of Jay Chou or one who hug a photo of Chiling
to bed on a nightly basis, I doubt you find "The Treasure
Hunter" a worthy movie to end the year on a high note.
(The Treasure Hunter is a hybrid of Indiana Jones and The
Mummy but lacks the charm and wits of both)
Review by Linus Tee