The Treasure Hunter

The Treasure Hunter, directed by Kevin Chu Yen-ping (Kung Fu Dunk), is a well-anticipated but highly disappointing film that was probably counting on riding on the popularity of its two lead stars, Jay Chou and Lin Chiling, to the box office.

Jay Chou plays the lead hero Qiao Fei, who returns to the desert to save the beautiful Lan Ting (Lin Chiling), damsel in distress and estranged daughter of his mentor, who in turn holds the map to a sought-after treasure. In the search for the lost city, they are joined by Pork Chop (Eric Tsang) and Hua Dingbang (Chen Daoming), who each have their reasons for seeking the treasure.

For a film named The Treasure Hunter, there is a serious lack of treasure hunting. The secret city is too easily found - simply by reading it upside down - and there is hardly any search at all as Qiao Fei seems to know exactly where he is heading. Besides, the Sand Legion, which is supposed to guard the secret city, seems to have given up after just one try. That one try where the supposedly invincible legion is almost too easily and embarrassingly defeated.

What's worse, throughout the film, there are bouts of inconsistencies and characters are weaved in and out without much reason to be there in the first place. It also seems like usually popular scenes - fights between Mister Mummy, sand-raising troops and the fight to be the king, or in this case, eagle, of the desert - are first thought of and then stringed together just for the sake of having them. Most of the action is heavily infused with computer graphics and takes place in a bar in the desert.

In every movie that Jay Chou acts in, there is an attempt to maximise his cool factor; much more like an extended MTV of the pop idol. But with only a tad more expression or minimal improvements in his acting ability despite several opportunities to act, perhaps Jay Chou should go back to making the music we enjoyed so much.

Unless you are an avid fan of either Jay Chou or Lin Chiling, this is definitely a movie to miss. Bodyguards and Assassins would be a much better bet.

Related links: Treasure Hunter official site (In Mandarin)

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