Mojin – The Lost Legend
Wuershan’s Mojin – The Lost Legend has been dubbed as “The Chinese Tomb Raider” by some and it’s easy to see why since it is about a group of globe trotting adventurers seeking treasure.
It sounds like a great idea and Chinese cinema is known for being visually arresting so the ingredients were all here for something great. Unfortunately the execution leaves a lot to be desired with incoherent scenes, lazy and irritating characterisation with a certain blandness to the action to boot.
It’s a shame because the opening of the film was excellent with some really well choreographed wire work, nice use of tension and excellent visuals but the experience goes rapidly downhill from there. Some of the set piece moments are nice to look at but it wasn’t enough to wake me up from the disinterest that had claimed me by the time those kick in.
The story is all over the place. I did like the idea of the lead characters falling from grace and having to reluctantly reclaim their reputations but the film does almost nothing with it. At first they are hesitant and eventually they accept the situation without anything resembling an arc inbetween to justify anything they are doing.
I did find the main characters Hu (Kun Chen) and Wang (Bo Huang) endearing in the beginning but they quickly become obnoxious and irritating to the point that I found it impossible to root for them. Shirley (Qi Shu) manages to be a consistently likeable and competent character though. She does subvert gender roles by taking control of the contrived love story she is involved in and generally proving herself to be the most capable of the bunch in terms of the job they are doing.
Another massive issue the film has is that it is far too long. A lack of grasp on pacing prevents the plot from remaining interesting throughout and it really got to the point where I wanted the whole thing to end. There are even a couple of points where it feels like it’s about to and it keeps going.
A short review but I don’t have a lot to say about this other than I really didn’t like it. The plot was terrible with obnoxiously irritating characters and the whole thing has no grasp on pacing. The Shirley character comes across fairly well and there are a couple of decent set pieces but beyond that there’s very little to recommend here.
- the Shirley character
- some decent set piece moments
- terrible pacing
- an uninteresting plot
- obnoxiously irritating characters