5.2/10
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16 user 19 critic

Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe (2015)

Jiu ceng yao ta (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 30 September 2015 (China)
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The Mongolian Border, 1979: Massive fossils of unknown creatures are discovered in the mountains, and the research team assigned to excavate the remains includes acclaimed Professor Yang (... See full summary »

Director:

Chuan Lu
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5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Mark Chao ... Hu Bayi
Jin Chen ... Yang's mother
Li Feng Li Feng ... Fat Wang Kaixuan
Chen Li ... Mr. Wang
Guangjie Li ... Officer Han
Yan Tang ... Weiwei
Rhydian Vaughan ... Chen Dong
Deshun Wang Deshun Wang ... Anliru
Qingxiang Wang Qingxiang Wang ... Doctor Yang
Jun Wu Jun Wu ... Lead Soldier
Chen Yao ... Shirley Yang
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Storyline

The Mongolian Border, 1979: Massive fossils of unknown creatures are discovered in the mountains, and the research team assigned to excavate the remains includes acclaimed Professor Yang (Wang Qingxiang), Hu Bayi (Mark Chao), and Ping (Yao Chen), the professor's beautiful daughter. When a freak explosion, lethal bat attack, and fall to the mountain's floor leaves only a handful of survivors, the small remaining band uncovers a mythic Cyclopean Temple - and an Interdimensional Portal that looses a pack of ravenous Hell-Beasts, leaving only Hu alive. New York City, Present Day: Now living a quiet but tormented life as a librarian, Hu studies demonology manuscripts to find answers for that fateful day. Little does he know that Professor Yang has just been found wandering the mountains thousands of miles from where he supposedly died; a young woman with amnesia was just discovered in a recently-uncovered tomb; and a Northern Chinese mining town has just been ravaged by giant, unknown ...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

China

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

30 September 2015 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

Gui chui deng zhi jiu ceng yao ta See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$106,380,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Goofs

While walking through the town the shadows of multiple creatures have the sunlight from different positions. See more »

Quotes

Doctor Yang: The life you choose may not persist. The death you choose may not exist.
See more »

Soundtracks

Demons
Composed by Ben McKee, Dan Platzman, Dan Reynolds, Wayne Sermon, Alexander Grant and Josh Mosser
Produced by Alexander Grant
Performed by Imagine Dragons
Courtesy of KIDinaKORNER and Interscope Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Underrated, very good entry into sci-fi fantasy
18 October 2016 | by CelluloidDogSee all my reviews

OK...real rating is about 6.7-7.2. But the ratings here are notoriously and this film is better than that. So I am balancing the ratings. The critics reviews were actually fairly favorable compared to viewers. Some people trashed it (read other comments) saying this film is inferior to Transformers in depth and rips off Indiana Jones, Godzilla, etc.

First, I'm not sure what this film and Indiana Jones have much in comment. Not much except for an archaeological dig at the start. No Indy film dealt with monsters. Second, it has little to do with Godzilla other than old bones which suggest dinosaurs but there are no dinosaurs (or I though dragons at the start). And I have not seen another movie with red or blue bats. In fact, the scenes in the caves and mountains resembled more Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit. I'm expecting Smaug to appear somewhere.

So what does it really rip off? Not much but probably the general Hollywood investigative conspiracy-type film where a government bureaucracy, in this case Bureau 749 is much like Area 51, Roswell or Project Bluebook. But no one got that. The other film is remotely resembles is actually Tremors where you have a group of people out in the desert surrounded by creatures. A bit different. We see mysterious characters like Mr Wang, the Professor and Bureau 749. Not sure which Hollywood film produces those types. But most people naturally stereotype, if it's Chinese, it must be copying some western film since Chinese are unoriginal. So old prejudices can affect how a film is rated.

One interesting thing about some recent Chinese films is the depiction of old-style communism. Films today are generally but loosely scrutinized by the government. It seems to depict the old communist lifestyle as "glorious" but that is a bit tongue-in-cheek since the main character Hu Bayi is overworked at the beginning. More the opening of the film is a social commentary on hard labor as a virtue of the 60s communism in China. One almost senses a labor camp where the government tries to cover up an accident.

Otherwise, it's really a interesting cross between a science fiction and a love story. The depth of the plot unwinds and is confusing halfway through. But that is because the main character Hu Bayi himself is confused. He doesn't know he's part of something greater until it's quite late. And we never really find out why the Professor and his daughter were on the archaeological dig until the end. It's a far more complex plot than Transformers. Really! For the person who thinks Transformers, a film made for kids (mostly young boys), is more sophisticated.

The opening scenes which are comparable to some as an Indiana Jones film, but I think any movie that deals with caves (a huge genre that started with Journey to the Center of the World) is fun and riveting. The library scenes are also mysterious and fascinating. One issue is that awkward introduction and explanation of the ghostly tribe. It didn't go down smoothly. And again, the complexity of the plot is hard for many to follow. Hence, some criticism is natural.

Regardless, the product really is a one-of-a-kind production that is entertaining but perhaps too deep in plot for many viewers who just want monsters or a simple action plot. So some say, it's great for action. But it gets bogged down with the plot (or the love story). But many Chinese action films do involve a love story somewhere. And gorgeous sets and cinematography. In that sense, this film does achieve all three. And it's well acted, all the leading roles were well done. And it does have great CGI (monsters were great!) which is rare outside Hollywood (and some French films).

Overall, this film far more complex than Godzilla or Transformers. I'm not sure how that comparison was made. Probably a bit too esoteric for an action-craving audience. Definitely worth renting.


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