Lost in Thailand Blu-ray Review
Inventor Xu Lang (Xu Zheng, who also directed the movie) is on the verge of making a deal that will make him rich and famous; it’s for a Supergas that has the capability to expand and increase the volume of any liquid.
There are a couple of problems: one, the shareholder who can approve any deals, Lao Zhou, is in Thailand; and two, officemate Gao Bo (Huang Bo, who won the Best Actor honor at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards in 2009) wants to use the idea for his own gain. Seeking to solve the first issue, Xu Lang hops on the first flight to Thailand, where he hopes to track Lao Zhou down in a Buddhist temple, which should be about as easy as locating a specific McDonald’s in the States. It’s on the plane that Xu Lang meets Wang Bo (Wang Baoqiang, who won Best New Performer at the 2003 Golden Horse Awards), a childish, pancake-slinging, cactus-carrying man who claims that gorgeous Chinese actress Fan Bingbing is his girlfriend. (We doubt this right away because, well, look at him and then look at her.) All the while, Gao Bo is on the trail.
LOST IN THAILAND is the directorial debut of Xu Zheng, whose acting credits include 2006’s CRAZY STONE, 2009’s ONE NIGHT IN SUPERMARKET and 2013’s NO MAN’S LAND. While his character is less interested in laughs than in conducting a successful business deal, the movie itself is determined to get the audience’s chuckles.
Most of the comedy comes from the relationship between Xu Lang and Wang Bo. Everything about each man is different: one is bald, the other has a mop of orange hair; one wears business attire, the other favors loud patterns; one is intelligent and determined, the other is Wang Bo.
The screenplay, by Xu Zheng, Huan Shu and Ding Ding (go ahead, you can laugh), is short on ideas. One of its earliest gags involves Xu Lang being nagged to turn off his cell phone before takeoff, which is a skit that has been around as long as the regulations. Another gag finds Xu Lang sticking his head into the cactus. There are many other similarly dumb and recycled bits, but, then, maybe they’re relatively fresh in China (or maybe anything passes as comedy in a country as strict as that), which would explain why it was the first Chinese film to cross the billion-yuan mark and become the country’s highest grossing native film (the top earner, though, is still James Cameron’s AVATAR).
If something can be said of LOST IN THAILAND, it’s that seems like it genuinely wants to make the audience laugh and care for the 95-minute runtime. There is a lot that falls flat here, but the chemistry between Xu Zheng and Wang Baoqiang is wonderful, and the twosome give it their finest shot at turning their fairly thin characters into a likeable duo. If there were to be a sequel to LOST IN THAILAND (LOST IN [FILL IN THE BLANK]?) that also followed this pair, it would no doubt be another box office success.
LOST IN THAILAND BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: 16:9 Widescreen in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. This is a lively transfer that captures every color with vibrancy and detail with sharpness.
Audio: Mandarin 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Subtitles in English. The audio transfer is also strong, with clean dialogue and full sound effects that make the more action-oriented scenes more impressive.
Making Of (16:25) offers interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and clips.