Mojin: The Lost Legend Blu-ray Review
During my viewing of MOJIN: THE LOST LEGEND, I was conversing with a friend about all the movies I have to watch. It’s not that MOJIN was boring. It’s just that I was multi-task while sitting in my apartment while watching movies. Generally, he’s never heard of the movies that I’m watching. So when I name dropped that I was watching MOJIN, he predictably had never heard of it. Since he was in the middle of going to the gym and I was deep into the story and action of MOJIN, he asked me to summarize the movie as best I could. I said, “Without sounding racist, its China meets Indiana Jones”.
There have been a lot of carbon copies, or attempts at the great Steven Spielberg and George Lucas creation. There’s TOMB RAIDER, NATIONAL TREASURE and Robert Langdon’s various adventures, just to name a few. They’re all good within their own rights. Many of them blend mystery, adventure, and sometimes fantasy, deep within whatever religion or country’s history they’re utilizing. I’m sure MOJIN is somehow based on some Asian mythology or pulled straight from a Chinese history book, but I don’t have the knowledge to fully appreciate it.
Hu Bayi (Kun) is the film’s Indiana Jones. But instead of working solo, he works in a group. He works with Wang Kaixuan (Bo) and Shirley Yang (Qi). Hu is charismatic, Wang is loveable and silly, and Shirley is the stereotypical love interest. While many, including myself, would call them grave robbers, they hold a deep respect for the mothballed tombs that they enter. Their knowledge of the feudal history, various religions and of cryptic folklore, make them a formidable force, as well as world renowned tomb raiders. The only problem is they’re no longer together.
The trio has retired to Manhattan during the 90’s, selling phony items on the street and pretending to not speak English when INS shows up. They’re approached by a bizarre businesswoman while scurry the trash littered alleyways. She tells them that she’s looking for the Equinox Flower, a token buried with a Mongolian princess. She’s willing to pay whatever price for these three journeymen to take her to it.
The adventure takes a little while to start, but MOJIN holds your interest, just when it’s about to wan, with a couple cutbacks to the past of Hu and Wang. All of it might feel a little disjointed if you don’t pay extra close attention, but the story is cohesive and not a lot of seconds are wasted as we watch them find the foreboding treasure. The obvious cultural and language barrier might prevent people from picking up on intentional humor, camaraderie, or certain character ticks. At least it did for me. But I’m willing to push some of those problems aside and assume that this is pure popcorn fun, satisfying enough for its international target audience.
Because MOJIN is based off a book and implements so much of the Chinese, Mongolian, and Japanese cultures, it’s admirable to watch when a nagging part of me kept saying this was an Indiana Jones wanna-be. It also feels fresh not having to deal with a worldly idea, like the fountain of youth, or some Christian allegory. MOJIN incorporates Buddhism, Zen, and the human feeling of yearning for immortality, as well as wanting to hit the ‘undo’ button.
MOJIN may seem long and misguided, but it’s certainly a fun time if you’re willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. The special effects are stellar, especially when I watch them stroll New York and see the Twin Towers in the background like they were there a day ago for filming. I don’t know much about the director or actors, but all of them have done a standout job. If this is the precursor to more adventures with Hu, Wang, and Shirley, bring them on.
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2:39:1) The graphics are wonderful, and the natural and digital surroundings come through clearly.
Audio: (Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) The audio is mixed well, especially when sound effects take over particular scenes, with the music slowly building in underneath.
Making Of (4:00): A very short feature with very short interviews by the cast and crew. The only thing I managed to learn is that it’s based on a book.
Behind the Scenes (6:56): This is a bizarre behind the scenes feature because it only focuses on the two leads, Chen Kun and Huang Bo. It focuses on their careers and working on the movie, but it feels like it was created by the Asian versions of ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and TMZ.