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The Dragon Pearl (2011) @ The Last Dragon @ 尋龍奪寶

At a glance:
Pretending to be riding a dragon.
What kind of movie would star veteran Omen (1976) thespian Sam Neill and Young And Dangerous (1996) HK star Jordan Chan in it? It’s a curious US $20 mil Australian-Chinese joint production and if you’re wonderin why you haven’t heard much about it, there’s good reason. In The Last Dragon a.k.a. 尋龍奪寶 (internationally The Dragon Pearl before Platinum Pictures retitled it for Malaysian release), Sam Neill revisits familiar Under The Mountain (2009) territory – this time not battlin dark forces with two kids underneath Auckland volcanoes but findin out about an ancient dragon underneath some Chinese ruins together with his young son Josh (Louis Corbett) and his friend, a local girl (Li Lin Jin) who holds the key to solvin a great archaeological mystery. Playing a bumblin temple caretaker is Jordan Chan, whose key contribution to the movie is his Eastern marketability, expressed here in repeat refrains of “Oh, my Buddha!” and his jumpy disposition. The movie reads like a diplomatic runabout.
Bad news on the doorstep:
What's with Sam Neill and kiddie shows?
While the committed cast did give their best despite the most predictable of predictable scripts, the biggest problem with The Last Dragon is chiefly its lead star – the dragon. Plasticky and extremely limited, we’re talkin about the kind of CGI work that we’re used to 10 years ago, so without the backin of a more solid and entertainin story, the appearance of the dragon is fatal to the movie.
Reminds me of:
Jumanji (1995), Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005) and Spiderwick Chronicles (2008).
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
Tame kids stuff that will kill an hour or two of family time if you didn’t walk in hopin to see Lord Of The Rings. Check out the official website or the Facebook page for more info.★★
Bonus material:
You must be joking.
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