The Lost Empire
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Top Customer Reviews
It's an idiom that most American viewers won't be familiar with. The major characters are Kuan Yin, Confucius, and a flock of other gods, godlings, immortals, buddhas, figures from myth, and other well-known figures and stereotypes from the Chinese pantheon. There are the flying heroes, improbable weapons, and acting at least on a par with the Dr. Who series. In other words, lots of viewers will see it as alien, disconnected, and amateurish, as well as being filled overly convenient miracles.
But it's not in the Western idiom, so parts of it have to be taken in their own terms. And it has the look of a low-budget film, so you won't see effects on the Star Wars scale. And it is a bit cheesy and over-the-top, which is part of the appeal.
The fights are bloodless, the romance is chaste, and all but the youngest kids will understand the characters. If you don't take it or yourself too seriously, there's a lot of fun in this one.
As you can see, the premise is quite confusing, so if you like to sit down and get a nice, logical plot, you might want to give this one a miss, as our heroes do a lot of wandering around and your not actually sure where they're going or why.
However, if you are a fan of other Hallmark fantasy mini-series (the Magical Legend of the Leprechauns, Merlin, Arabian Nights, the 10th Kingdom, the Voyage of the Unicorn) then this is the movie for you.Read more ›
Was this A Chinese Ghost Story I, II or III? No.
But it was still fun to watch and a lot more kid oriented then the Chinese Ghost story movies or many of the Chinese fantasy movies made. Not to mention it is in English so you don't have to read subtitles or hear a bad dub.
I think the biggest downer of this movie was the main protagonist (played by Thomas Gibson) just isn't a good actor. The rest of the cast was just fine. Does Russell Wong ever age?
This movie not up to par with the direction or story telling as the Hallmark verion of Gulliver's Travels or The Odyssey, which in my opinion are more serious stories made for adults anyway.
My kids thought Piggsy (the pig-man) kicking martial arts (...) with a rake was hilarious. They didn't get the love story aspect of the movie, nor was it directed well so you felt a connection with the story and actors. They loved when Monkey was flying in the sky and how cool he was. Overall it was a satisfying family movie that my four small kids and I enjoyed together.
For those of you who enjoy mythical worlds for entertainment purposes, then you might rank this as high as 4 stars. Though the acting by Thomas Gibson (playing journalist Nick Orton, the Scholar) falls a bit flat, Russell Wong makes for an enthusiastic and entertaining Monkey King. The costumes are nicely done, particularly that of Pigsy, and the martial arts scenes are well choregraphed though a little cheesy sometimes. The special effects, while not perfect quality, give the movie character and a touch of humor.
For those of you who favor accuracy, this probably falls as low as two stars. (1 if you are an extremist, but then why did you even bother watching this?) The movie was created with little regard of the historical/modern origins of Buddhist religion. Issues of particular note are:
1. the Goddess Kwan Ying's deception/drunkenness at the begining of the movie and the romantic feelings throughout the film conflicting with the modern view of the holy figure Guan Yin (whom Kwan Ying is based on)**
2. the portrayal of Confucious as greedy and selfish instead of wise
3. (though not a religious issue) there seems to be a little bit of a dig at Chinese communism in the movie's second half which may be too much for the politically sensitive. There is some obvious emphasis on Western values such as individualism vs the collectivism of the Chinese.
** For those of you crying bloody murder over the portrayal of Guan Yin and looking for a warped version of a Christian holy figure, see the movie series 'Prophecy' by Gregory Widen. (Interestingly, Russell Wong is also a lead in Prophecy II as Danyael.) The archangel Gabriel has turned against the Christian God and the humans of God's creation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great movie and my first introduction to the Monkey King.Published 8 months ago by Ultimate Bookworm
Saw this overseas a few years back... great scenery for the artistically inclined who like "Chinese stuff." Kind of a sic-fi, time traveling fantasy, but very enjoyable!Published 13 months ago by Aeolus
This is a feel good fairy tale based in the orient with Thomas Gibson playing the role of questing hero. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Carollee
I was concerned as this DVD was not for my region but this new player software on a new Babbage machine did the trick. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Bruce Sabiston
I enjoyed it and so did my grandkids. Its lot of action and has a lot of different characters.Published 17 months ago by Bonnie Peek