Movie Details


In the northwest desert where countless prosperous dynasties have flourished and fallen, there is rumour of a buried treasure of unbelievable riches. A group of mysterious guardians have kept the map to the location safe, until a fierce rivalry erupts. A notorious international crime group, The Company, hunts down the map keepers and before they manage to secure it, the keeper passes the map to a young chivalrous man named Ciao Fei (Jay Chou). Ciao Fei is forced to give up the map to save the life of his mentor's daughter Lan Ting (Lin Chi Ling). Teaming up with archaeologist Hua Ding Bang and Lan Ting, they embark on a dangerous journey to recover the map and fight to protect the ancient treasure.

Language: Mandarin
Subtitle: Na
Classification: PG13
General Release Date: 24 Dec 2009
Genre: Action / Adventure / Martial Arts
Running Time: 1 Hour 44 Minutes
Cast: Jay Chou, Lin Chi Ling, Eric Tsang
Format: NA

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Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

Writer Ratings:
Overall: 2.5 Out of 5
Cast: 3.0 Out of 5
Plot: 2.5 Out of 5
Effects: 3.5 Out of 5
Cinematography: 3.0 Out of 5

Watch this if you liked: “The Mummy”, “Tomb Raider”, “Hidalgo”

In Kevin Chu's "Treasure Hunter", "The Mummy" gets an Asian treatment as Taiwanese tomb raiders go to Mainland China and frolic about in the deep desert to cook up some Indiana Jones adventure. To drive the picture, the "Kung Fu Dunk" director re-teams with regional pop prince Jay Chou and ropes in supermodel-turned-actress Lin Chi Ling, who gets another big picture after debuting in John Woo's "Red Cliff".

Poor Jay Chou. Fans mother him and keep him protected, as his crossover pet project as a big screen actor has not been easy, considering most older audiences won't give him the time of day. Since his relatively successful turn in "Secret", the talented musician can't get any respect for starring in "Kung Fu Dunk" and nobody likes the fact that he's Kato in the upcoming "Green Hornet" either instead of Stephen Chow. Media spotlight is heavy on a such a marketable star and many say the man (with a facial expressions range that is notoriously limited) ought to stick to what he knows best.

Perhaps it's then a case of low expectations because Mr. Chou does manage to do better this time around. He's a devil-may-care, bike-riding cowboy drifter who's also the guardian of an ancient city. Armed with kungfu and long flowing rebel hair, he also finds time to fall in love with a young author played by a vibrant Lin Chi Ling. Throw in a mysterious treasure map and some generic villains and you get a full feature with enough visual rewards to make it worth your time.

However, the obviously derivative elements in "Treasure Hunter" won't find too much support among more discerning adventure movie fans. The hybrid production set combines worlds that are both ancient and modern, so the movie can be very unsettling at times. Still no fan of Chou's will give this a miss and his star appeal will be enough to elevate this to some level of box office success. Perhaps in territories like China where the influx of Hollywood movies are capped and governed by law, everyone will think that Jay Chou cracking a whip is the birth of a new hero icon. The rest are probably just happy that he didn't spot a fedora.

Cinema Online, 23 December 2009

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