Wu Xie (Li Yi Feng), the grandson of a famous tomb-robber, finds the secret location of a mysterious tomb in his grandfather’s notes. Together with his uncle Wu Sanxing (Ken Chang) and the enigmatic Zhang Qiling (Yang Yang), he embarks on a quest to find the lost tomb. But he’s not the only one to seek the tomb and his treasures…
Ever heard the expression “it’s so bad it’s good”? Well, it fits The Lost Tomb to a T. Basically, if I had to sum up my watching this, I’d say I had a grand old time cringe-laughing from beginning to end.
PingXie 4 Ever
My first foray into the Lost Tomb series was with the first season of Zhu Yi Long’s The Lost Tomb Reboot, and I liked it so much I decided to dive deeper into this fascinating universe. In other words, I started the show for two reasons:
- The creepy tombs
For those of you who didn’t know, PingXie is the name of the ship between Wu Xie and the mysterious Zhang Qiling, also known as Xiao Ge. These two have an incredible chemistry in The Lost Tomb Reboot, and I was really curious to see their first meeting and the start of their beautiful “friendship”.
Leather-clad Yang Yang makes for a very sexy Zhang Qiling (there’s…not much else to his role in this one, honestly: although he has a few fight scenes, he mostly just broods quietly in the background), and manages to convey the first embers of what will become a fierce protectiveness over Wu Xie in the years they’ll get to know each other. I laughed a lot at the “Wu Xie swoons-Xiao Ge catches him-They stare at each other soulfully” dynamic those two had going.
Of course, don’t expect anything mind-blowing just yet, but there was enough to tide me over until season 2, which, let me tell you, has plenty of pining and sweetness.
As previously mentioned, I started this one after The Lost Tomb Reboot, and to say that there’s a stark difference in quality would be an understatement. Everything, from the acting to the music to the CGI to the opening sequence was… not up to par. There were random sources of natural light underground, the monsters and decors looked terrible, and the entire team all look and sound like amateurs rather than professionals. Which could be excusable in Wu Xie and High Jr.’s case, since they’re young and inexperienced, but not in Wu Sanxing and Pan Zi’s…
The Iredeemable Wu Sanxing
Speaking of, Wu Sanxing came off as such a condescending jerk, I couldn’t stand him after the first episode. In The Lost Tomb Reboot, he seemed a likable character, a nerd who got into a lot of trouble. Another Wu Xie, almost. In this one, however, he never showed any redeeming quality, and neither did his colleague Pan Zi.
To give you an example, they thought it was okay to go visit a potentially super dangerous tomb (where they knew there might be undead monsters) with only a small knife between the two of them. Not only that, but they did so knowing that they were responsible for Wu Xie (Wu Sanxing’s nephew, for heaven’s sake!) and his friend’s lives. The sheer irresponsibility, coupled with constant condescendance and hostility when the youngsters expressed unease or perfectly justified fear, made them into a duo of jerks I couldn’t wait to see die.
In fact, they were so confident in their supposed ability that they decided that Wu Xie, inexperienced in tomb-robbing as he was, wasn’t allowed to do…anything. Not even participate in chores, or manual work. I mean. Okay then.
All in All…
The Lost Tomb isn’t good. I can’t in good conscience say that. But it’s fun, and that makes all the difference. Because while I cringed a lot, I also laughed the entire time, and I think that’s what’s most important.
If you’re getting into the Lost Tomb series for the first time, make sure you watch this one before you watch season 2, which follows it directly, even if you fast-forward through it. It’s worth it, I promise, because the quality of the other two installments is much, much better than this one, but The Lost Tomb will provide context. To be clearer: you can watch the Reboot out of context (even if you’ll miss a couple things), but not The Lost Tomb 2.
Title: The Lost Tomb
Starring: Li Yi Feng, Yang Yang, Tiffany Tang
Aired: 06/12/2015 to 07/03/2015
Number of episodes: 10
Genres: Adventure, Mystery, Horror, Bromance
My Grade: ★★☆☆☆