The Lost Empire

  • 2001
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Fantasy, Martial Arts

Inspired by the success of such classics-based mini-serieses as GULLIVER'S TRAVELS and THE ODYSSY, this jumbled TV entertainment also tries to get on the CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON bandwagon, missing by several yards. In a parallel universe, evil Shu the Censor (Randall Duk-Kim) has contrived to destroy the human world by hiding a centuries-old manuscript...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Inspired by the success of such classics-based mini-serieses as GULLIVER'S TRAVELS and THE ODYSSY, this jumbled TV entertainment also tries to get on the CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON bandwagon, missing by several yards. In a parallel universe, evil Shu the Censor (Randall Duk-Kim) has contrived to destroy the human world by hiding a centuries-old manuscript that extols the power of imagination. The task of saving our world falls to Asian scholar Nick Orton (Thomas Gibson), who must locate and retrieve Journey to the West, the purloined tome. During an archaeological dig at some Chinese catacombs, the goddess Kwang Ying (Bai Ling) pleads for Nick's intercession in keeping open the portal between their two worlds and thwarting the realization of Shu's 500 year-old curse against humanity. Smitten by her beauty, Nick undertakes the quest, even though he doesn't believe that the fate of the world really hangs in the balance. After freeing his appointed ally, The Monkey King (Russell Wong), from the tombs, Nick begins a crash course in warrior tactics. With the aid of the Monkey King's cronies, Pigsy (Eddie Marsan) and Friar Sand (Kabir Bedi), Nick starts undermining the conspiracy by Shu and his demons to suppress Journey to the West. In the course of their adventures, Nick and his comrades battle the Prince of Confusion, several adversarial gods who resent Kwan Ying's interference, and even a giant dragon. Having tricked Journey to the West's author, Wu (Henry O), into submission, Shu's demons focus their malice on Nick and subject him to a trial by deities. Can Nick tip the balance of power by whisking off Wu to the human world and taking him on a first-hand tour of mankind's saving graces? Based on Cheng-En Wu's 16th-century classic, this overblown, literary-flavored family fare combines elements of Kung Fu flicks and kiddie fantasies like THE PAGEMASTER. This scattershot movie tries to be all things to all viewers, instead earning a booby prize for forced whimsy and gluttonous indulgence in special effects.

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  • Released: 2001
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Inspired by the success of such classics-based mini-serieses as GULLIVER'S TRAVELS and THE ODYSSY, this jumbled TV entertainment also tries to get on the CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON bandwagon, missing by several yards. In a parallel universe, evil Shu t… (more)

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