Based on the fantasy novel, Ghost Blows Out the Light, by Zhang Muye, The Ghouls‘ group of risk-takers are Chen Kun, Shu Qi, Huang Bo, and Angelababy. The story follows two tomb raiders (Chen Kun & Huang Bo) as they try to undo a curse with the help of an American archaeologist among ancient burial sites.
Cast & Credits
When I first saw the trailer, I thought to myself, "hey this looks like a Chinese LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING!" I was immediately drawn to the movie.
Turns out, IMO, it's even better than LOTR! Sure, there are other reviews that compare it to Indiana Jones. But, I've never been fond of any Indy movies, and this one isn't about stealing valuables from a tomb ONLY. The story goes much deeper than that.
Here's the part that may surprise a lot of ppl. Turns out this is a multicultural Asian work. Turns out the tomb in question was a Japanese war bunker (on Chinese soil) that happened to tap into the supernatural part of the underground labyrinth by accident. The zombies are dead Japanese soldiers in said bunker. And even one of the antagonists, Yoko, is played by a Japanese national. In fact, even the movie's soundtrack is composed by Endo Koji, a Japanese musician!
In regards to the plot, I've felt that the technical aspect of the movie could be better as even the average Japanese movie looks slightly better, in terms of overall cinematography. But the plot is where it blows most Japanese movies I've reviewed so far to smithereens. It's so rich and funny that it almost felt like a Jin Yong work... (In case anyone doesn't know, Jin Yong is one of the most well-known fiction authors in China).
Acting and cast was superb as well. The main protagonist could cycle between a younger adult and an older himself easily, as was the other male protagonist. I've found their roles a bit more complex than Aragorn in LOTR, who never played a younger himself. Hence, my kudos to the actors (and actresses) in this movie.
And as I've already mentioned above, Endo Koji compose the kick-ass soundtrack, so the music sounded more Western than Chinese/Asian, since that is what Japanese musicians are good at.
In terms of rewatch value. Definitely! Remember the Inuyasha ending song, "My Will", where we see a certain red flower being animated and then being bent by the stalks by Kikyo? There's one just like it in this movie and they actually explained why that flower is so special and unique in the movie. That was probably my favorite part too, seeing something that was never really explained in an anime I've watched over a decade ago get resolved in a completely unrelated movie!