Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe - Review : DJ MACK

When giant fossils are discovered near Mongolia, a government-funded expedition is organized to analyze them. When an explosion leaves members of the excavation team buried underground, they discover a cyclopean temple and giant, ancient beasts. "The life you choose may not persist. The death you fear may not exist."
This is pretty much a Chinese Indiana Jones adventure just with alien ghosts, demon dogs, fire bats, and kaiju like beasts. This does have its flaws but was still a blast to watch. The story does fall apart towards the end. It just goes too Chinese where it stops making sense and dives too far into the spiritual elements. One guy goes off on his own on his own mission. Then we never see him again. The lead ends up acquiring powers and is told to not use them out of fear of opening a portal to allow the aliens to come back to earth. So you expect to see some crazy badass powers but he actually listens and we never see powers. There is a guy who has been teaching him and last we see of him half way through the movie he is defending his temple against ghost monsters. This really is an incomplete story. I do hope another movie comes along. The characters are pretty thin but they all buy into their surroundings and it is pretty fun watching them react to the crazy world that they have been thrown into. It is also a period piece in the 80s so you get a few musical numbers that praise the communist party.
Don't let that negativity detract you from seeing this because it is a treat for the eye candy crowd. It has great visuals to support the interesting mythology going on here. Just the narrative is disjointed and unfinished. Clearly the biggest time and money was spent on the locations and the CGI for the monsters. Now the CGI is pretty lame in comparison to the big budget Hollywood studios put out but for a Chinese movie it looks fantastic. A lot of their stuff used to be pretty stiff and lifeless. This is pretty much on par with what our TV shows look like. Lacking but still tolerable. There is some very nice details put into the creatures especially the giant werewolf like creatures. Their flesh has been decaying so they have open sores, some of them have chains wrapped around them and when they move you get this jingling sound. There are a lot of different locations, caves, mountains, deserts, temples, and a ghost town for the finale. The set pieces are well done. A lot of work went into this on the technical side and I appreciate it. It really does make up for the lack of character depth and poor narrative. While there is a good amount of deaths in this it is fairly bloodless so this is one of those Indiana Jones/The Mummy/Transformers style movies that is safe for the kiddies to enjoy too.
This is definitely a style of substance kind of movie. The story falls apart half way through into fantasy mumbo jumbo and gets lost in itself but the visuals and action stay strong throughout. The acting is pretty solid but the characters are lacking so the actors don't get many moments to sink their teeth into. Overall if you are looking for a cool monster movie from another land this is a solid watch.

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