Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Film Review: Lost in Thailand (2013)

Lost in Thailand (Review)
China/2013
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...you can count on Baobao..."

Scientist Xu Lang (Xu Zheng), who discovers a valuable solution called Supergas, goes to Thailand to find his boss before his competition Gao Bo (Huang Bo) does...

Lost in Thailand starts off a bit complicated due to the reasoning for going to Thailand and the many characters introduced. Fortunately, it eventually irons out. Anyway, Lang arrives at Thailand and partners up with the bizarre and practically cursed Wang Bao (Wang Baoqiang). Of course, Xu intends on using Bao to beat Gao Bo to their boss' location. Unfortunately for them, the trio get lost and wander from unfortunate event after another; rough massages, spying and hiding, an odd obsession with Bingbing, running from thugs and fighting kickboxers, and so on. It's repetitive and a bit longwinded, but Lost in Thailand eventually reaches a hilarious ending.

Lost in Thailand is a funny but flawed comedy. The film's balanced blend of quirky, lighthearted, slightly raunchy, and slapstick humor is more than enough to conjure consistent laughs. Bao's character alone dominates most of the laughs with his poor timing and plain bad luck -- everytime something looks up for Lang, you can count on Baobao to ruin it. As hilarious as it is, it's also part of the problem. This creates a repetition issue in the film. Here's how most of the goes: Bao messes something up, Lang and Bao fight and breakup their partnership, Lang realized he was harsh and teams up with Bao again, and repeat. And repeat. And... repeat. Furthermore, the characters and most of the plot points are very cliché; you've seen these characters, character arcs, and story before. If you can get past the repetitiveness and the generic characters, Lost In Thailand is a good time.

Xu Zheng and Huang Bo are good. Wang Baoqiang, however, is hilarious; sure, his character is occasionally frustrating, but Baoqiang has the most energy and laughs among any of his cast mates. The scenery is beautiful, the cinematography is great. The music matches the energy of the film. Writer, director, and actor Xu Zheng does very well in delivering the laughs; the film's frame is generic and it is repetitive, not the humor is genuine.

Overall, I liked Lost in Thailand. I laughed plenty of times and had a good time; Wang Baoqiang performance and character is definitely a highlight for the film. However, although many of its laughs are genuine, the frame is generic -- the characters and some of the plot points feel like they've simply been copied from another film and pasted in. Worth a rental or a stream.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood, some sexually suggestive themes.

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