Candle in the Tomb: The Lost Caverns (2020) poster
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 416 users
# of Watchers: 1,249
Reviews: 5 users
Ranked #2805
Popularity #7325
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Hu Ba Yi, Shirley Yang and Wang Pang Zi explore a mysterious tomb in the Shaanxi region. Shirley Yang travels to the Longling Maze Grottos to investigate unusual patterns on fossil fragments. On the way, she crosses paths with Hu Ba Yi who along with Wang Pang Zi have just escaped from the ancient city. The trio become companions in another tomb-raiding adventure. (Source: ChineseDrama.info) ~~ Adapted from the 2nd volume in the novel series "Candle in the Tomb" (鬼吹灯) by Zhang Mu Ye (天下霸唱). Edit Translation

  • English
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • dansk
  • Norsk
  • Country: China
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 18
  • Aired: Apr 1, 2020 - Apr 22, 2020
  • Aired On: Wednesday
  • Original Network: Tencent Video
  • Duration: 35 min.
  • Score: 7.9 (scored by 416 users)
  • Ranked: #2805
  • Popularity: #7325
  • Content Rating: 13+ - Teens 13 or older

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Candle in the Tomb: The Lost Caverns (2020) photo
Candle in the Tomb: The Lost Caverns (2020) photo
Candle in the Tomb: The Lost Caverns (2020) photo
Candle in the Tomb: The Lost Caverns (2020) photo
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Reviews

Completed
WandereR
12 people found this review helpful
Sep 4, 2021
18 of 18 episodes seen
Completed 6
Overall 9.0
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.5

As the rooster crows and the candle blows out...

...the grave robbers must cease all raiding activities and quickly leave the tomb. Such is the golden rule that all members of Mojin Xiaowei, one of the four major tomb raiding sects, must abide by.

Candle in the Tomb: The Lost Caverns is the direct sequel to Candle in the Tomb (2016), as far as the chronology of the Candle in the Tomb series’ web dramas are concerned. However, an entirely different cast has taken over from Jin Dong and Chen Chiao En, who headlined the first drama, and will continue with three more sequels in addition to this one, namely The Worm Valley (currently airing, at the time of writing), Raiders of the Wu Gorge and Kunlun Shrine. This, of course, excludes the timeline continuity of the numerous film adaptations, as well as prequel drama adaptations that have either already aired or presently in the pipeline as future projects.

Directed by Fai Zhen Xiang, who had helmed two earlier adaptations (The Weasel Grave and The Wrath of Time) and has directed The Worm Valley. He is certainly no stranger to the action adventure genre and his experience does shine through in his third foray into the series. Yang Zhe, who wrote the screenplay for Medical examiner Dr Qin, heads the screenwriting team comprising eight others. Principal photography took place amidst the vast rugged expanse of Shenmu county in Shaanxi province, bordering Inner Mongolia and situated across the Yellow River.

The plot is adapted from the second volume of Ghost Blows Out the Light (鬼吹灯) novel series written by Zhang Mu Ye. Set in 1982, Shirley Yang, Hu Ba Yi and Wang Pan Zi, close companions and tomb raiders of the Mojin Xiaowei sect, travel to Shaanxi to explore the mysterious Longling Maze in search of the legendary Book of Dragon Bones which holds the secret to finding the elusive Dust Bead, the key to lifting an ancient curse.Compared to the 2016 prequel, the plot development feels more riveting and faster paced while the action is more suspenseful and thrilling as well.

The production quality is unquestionably top notch. The cinematography is truly worthy of praise in terms of the immersive views of the beautiful Shaanxi landscape and the majestic Yellow River, as well as within the massive subterranean maze where a major portion of the exploration takes place. The proper application of lighting along with the steady camerawork and excellent editing ensure that scenes in the tomb are never too dim while the action sequences are not choppy. The set designs are equally impressive, from the authentic town setting in Shenmu to the gloriously furnished underground tombs.

There are plenty of visual and special effects on show that are generally well rendered. Certain stunts involving wirework do appear somewhat awkward but for the most part, are quite decently performed. I love the variety of BGM that infuses distinct flavours to suit the atmospherics in different scenes without overpowering them in the process.

One of this series’ strengths, which is evident in this drama, is how fact and fiction intertwine seamlessly as part of the detailed worldbuilding. The fusion of mysticism, folklore, ancient history and real world concepts such as Taoism and Feng Shui all combine intricately into a compelling narrative. In addition, the elaborately designed traps and mechanisms featured in the storytelling adds immensely to the thrill. How technically accurate any of it is, I’m not entirely sure but the intrigue is certainly captivating.

Another aspect that impresses me is the authenticity and depth of the characterization.. Casting experienced mature actors and getting them to appear haggard with actual sunburn and minimal makeup. Dialogues between the various characters that are logically written and spoken with regional dialects do add to a greater sense of realism indeed. The only gripe I have is the English speaking parts which seem rather contrived and unnatural.

The new cast, in my humble opinion, fit their roles perfectly. It doesn’t take long to warm up to their portrayals because aside from the individual brilliance, they display such convincing chemistry with one another.

Pan Yue Ming’s Hu Ba Yi is slightly more down to earth compared to Jin Dong’s charismatic version, but he does possess a laidback and understated old school charm that grows on you. Zhang Yu Qi, who earlier in her career gained fame in Stephen Chow films, comes across as a more grounded version of Shirley Yang and I honestly appreciate her interpretation of the character. Minimalist yet stylish without the extravagance, she embraces the role convincingly. Together with Hu Ba Yi, their temperament appears to be quite a good match. Jiang Chao takes on the role of Wang Pang Zi with aplomb. I get the feeling that he’s literally portraying himself because he injects much fun and humour into the characterization in an extremely realistic manner. His physique certainly matches the persona as well.

All things considered, I’ve very much enjoyed the viewing experience of Candle in the Tomb: The Lost Caverns. Great entertainment value from an intriguing plot with endearing characters and at only 18 episodes. Despite wrapping up nicely and without a cliffhanger ending, the story does not end here. The tomb raiders’ quest continues in the next instalment where there are more adventures and excitement to be had.

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Completed
Jan Pospisil
5 people found this review helpful
May 9, 2020
18 of 18 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
Candle in the Tomb continues its winning streak, by being the superior tomb raiding series and leaving its competitor(s) in the dust.
After the excellent Wrath of Time, I was delighted to find the same production team was working on the next main series. The Lost Caverns (TLC) is a very different, yet similar show (in a few aspects).
The good cinematography, decent writing and good acting are still there, but the feeling of the show is closer to the other main seasons. The characters are the same after all, continuing in the lengthy main plotline.

To some extent, the characters brought it down in some places for me, because they're not as exciting and new, since we've been with them for a long time. And while character development is welcome, here and there those scenes dragged for a bit too long. (especially for an 18 episode series)
While I appreciate the show for being funny, at times the humor was a bit forced and went on for too long.

I don't really have any serious complaints - the tomb raiding itself is wonderful, the acting is solid and the story mostly makes sense. I especially enjoy that unlike some other tomb raiding shows I won't name, TLC was not afraid to cast older and less than perfect looking actors. (who then give great performances)
As individuals, they are not my favourite picks for the roles (Hu Ba Yi si good, but a bit flabby. Fatty is..just a bit whiny. And Shirley is a bit boring in this one, to be honest. The actress seems nice and she does a decent job, but her portrayal is too timid and not fiery enough. Gold Tooth is a sweetheart though.), but their performances are consistent and they work well together.
And they get hurt and dirty and torn up and it's all so relatable, unlike characters in other *cough cough* shows.

Overall Wrath of Time is still my favourite, but I'm very happy with where the main series is heading.
It seems to be in good hands.

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Recommendations

Candle in the Tomb
Candle in the Tomb: The Wrath of Time
Candle in the Tomb: The Wrath of Time
The Lost Tomb
The Lost Tomb 2
Candle in the Tomb: The Worm Valley

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Details

  • Drama: Candle in the Tomb: The Lost Caverns
  • Country: China
  • Episodes: 18
  • Aired: Apr 1, 2020 - Apr 22, 2020
  • Aired On: Wednesday
  • Original Network: Tencent Video
  • Duration: 35 min.
  • Content Rating: 13+ - Teens 13 or older

Statistics

  • Score: 7.9 (scored by 416 users)
  • Ranked: #2805
  • Popularity: #7325
  • Watchers: 1,249

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