Guardians of the Tomb (2018) - Australia / China
Review by Andrew Chan
With the Tomb Raider being released next week, it’s probably timely that we get a kick out of the Aussie and Chinese coproduction flick - Guardians of the Tomb. Starring Chinese superstar in Li Bing Bing and Taiwanese pop star Wu Chun, the formulaic adventure thriller film is directed by Australian Kimble Rendall (previously helmed the box office success in China - Bait 3D). What we get is what we expected, but with low expectations, the film ends up enjoyable and the premises of deadly funnel web spiders able to communicate like “Twitter” attacking a group of outsiders trapped inside the ancient Chinese Tomb. The film works because it’s unashamedly a direct copy of The Mummy series / Tomb Raiders and the dialogue is so corny that it becomes unintentionally funny.
Li Bing Bing the biggest drawcard is suitably intense throughout and her “Tomb Raider” clothing makes her a perfect survivor. American Kelsey Grammer plays the lead villain with a pure 2D performance. Meanwhile action fans will enjoy Kellan Lutz as both the comic timing and action hero to save the day. Aussie Jason Chong and a Shane Jacobson rounds out the down under presence in key supporting roles. Wu Chun impresses in a small role as the target of the rescue mission.
All in all, Guardians of the Tomb shows precisely how to make a carbon copy of a tried and proven formula in the reins of The Mummy and Tomb Raider crossover. Perhaps it’s not a film that needs to be made by Australians, as the local Aussie box office reflected, but it shows the potential of making bigger films in an dwindling industry that is unable to make a splash or convince its own audience to the cinemas. If this is the direction that the future is undertaking, it isn’t entirely bad as it provide experience and working opportunities for Australian cast and crew and if that means more diverse Australian Asian actors getting bigger roles like Jason Chong, there can be positive out of this partnership.
I rated it 2.5/5
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