Issue #254            HOME          E-mail: Contact Us        BACK ISSUES              March 7th, 2005

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Undiscovered Tomb
(2002; My Way Films Co.)

Cantonese: Gik dei wong ling
Mandarin: Ji di huang ling
English: Remote Royal Tomb

 

RATING: 3/10

REVIEW:

No doubt inspired by Paramount’s big budget adaptation of LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER, My Way Film Company continued its history of cashing in on the latest trends by undertaking this production in China. While UNDISCOVERED TOMB lacks the big budget spectacle of that Angelina Jolie vehicle, it sports a promising action heroine in the form of Marsha Yuan Chi-wei, one of martial arts movie legend Cheng Pei-pei’s daughters. SHOGUN’s Yoko Shimada plays a professor who teams up with an affluent antiques collector (Ken Wong Hap-hei) to locate "The Pills of Eternity," which purportedly bestow immortality. They are aided in their quest by Yuan, her whiny teenage sidekick (Miyuki Koinuma), and Taiwanese martial arts mainstay Shi Xiao-long (finally having grown out of his SHAOLIN POPEY "kiddie fu"days), who have located the other half of the map needed to find the treasure. Keeping a close eye on the expedition is a gang called The Wild Wolves, who plan to let the professor and company do all of the work and then snatch the prize.

Marsha Yuan Ken Wong (left), Yoko Shimada Miyuki Koinuma

The martial arts are merely adequate and the few thrills are often undercut by a small budget (silly looking CGI snake and scorpion attacks) and Douglas Kung Chung-tak‘s leaden direction. There is also an excessive amount of shrill and obvious comedy. Yuan moves fairly well but her stoic character offers little in the way of acting possibilities.


PRESENTATION:

The non-anamorphic presentation looks cleaner and slicker than any other My Way production I have seen and, apart from a few blown-out whites, has no detracting flaws. The audio options are Cantonese and Mandarin, both in undistinguished, post-synched mono even though the end credits carry the Dolby Digital logo. Some promo spots for other Tai Seng titles are included, but that is it for supplements.

Shi Xiao-long Marsha Yuan Shi Xiao-long (left), Marsha Yuan


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Images in this review courtesy of Tai Seng. To read captions, hover mouse over image.


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DVD Specifications

  • U.S. Release
  • NTSC Region 0
  • Tai Seng Entertainment #38974
  • Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Post-synced Cantonese and Mandarin Language
  • Subtitles (Optional): English
  • 8 Chapters
  • 4:3 Letterbox (1.74:1)
  • 91 Minutes

Ratings & Consumer Information

  • Australia: M15+
  • Great Britain: 12
  • Manitoba: 14A
  • Nova Scotia: 14
  • Quebec: G
  • Contains moderate violence

FILM REVIEW RATINGS KEY:

  • 10 A Masterpiece
  • 9 Excellent
  • 8 Highly Recommended
  • 7 Very Good
  • 6 Recommended
  • 5 Marginal Recommendation
  • 4 Not Recommended
  • 3 Poor
  • 2 Definitely Not Recommended
  • 1 Dreadful