Tsui Sui-Ming also traveled internationally with his cast and crew, filming some of this on location in Los Angeles, some in Hong Kong, some in what looks like a Hollywood Western, and a lot in what looks like a Vietnam War movie's back lot.
|Is it a Western?|
|Or an LA Police movie?|
|Or a Vietnam War movie?|
|Recognize this pose?|
Fight Scene from Bury Me High chosen at random
But something, somewhere, went horribly wrong with this Chinese movie. From your average movie goer's perspective, Bury Me High ended up a confusing, jumbled mess. From the Gweilo's perspective though, there's perhaps enough silliness in the confusion for a mildly amusing time.
One of the first problems with this Chinese movie becomes evident even before the film itself starts: A huge screen of text explaining the premise of the movie before we actually see any action.
The premise of Bury Me High is that certain locations have more Feng Shui than others, and if you are buried in one of these magic spots your decedents will have lots of luck. That's not a hard concept to grasp, but for some reason Tsui Sui-Ming feels like he has to explain this over and over and over again to the viewer at every chance he gets. For example, when two small kids watch their father die right in front of them, this jerk takes the opportunity to lecture to them about the film's premise instead of comforting them:
Not really the best way to comfort fresh orphans!
Tediously, characters like this explain the same information again and again. If that wasn't enough, Tsui Sui-Ming gives us long flash-back scenes to parts of the movie we'd seen only moments before. I think it's safe to say that making the film's premise excruciatingly clear was at the top of Tsui Sui-Ming's priorities list.
Confused and Muddled Plot
It's also safe to say that the rest of this film does not suffer from too much clarity. The heroes of Bury Me High are a business executive, a "hacker", a UCLA Professor of Astronomy. I should mention that in the world of this film "Astronomy" means the same thing as "Feng Shui Astrology". And, yes, the Professor tediously explains the premise of the movie several times, most notably in a Los Angeles planetarium, lecturing to a bunch of Hollywood extras who are trying to look like interested UCLA students. I should also mention that the Professor is played by the director himself, Tsui Sui-Ming, who obviously really, Really has a thing for this movie's premise!
This crew has a series of disconnected adventures, starting with a fight about fruit juice in a "trendy" Los Angeles disco:
Panic at the Disco! Don't miss Chin Kar-Lok's amazing flip / leap off the balcony at the 1:00 mark, where he lands on his feet and keeps fighting!
This makes them decide to "sneak into" a made up east Asian country named Carrinan. But something must have gotten lost in translation, because the next scene shows their plane landing to an army procession, a full brass band, and a ticker tape parade.
|If this is what it looks like when you are "sneaking" somewhere...|
|...then you are doing it very wrong.|
. . . and, honestly, it's one of the silliest things I've ever seen, although it's not intended to be comic at all. It's like Tsui Sui-Ming decided the movie was getting a little dull, and he had a huge special effects budget, so why not put in several minutes worth of gunfire and explosions and people falling off exploding bridges and so forth. He doesn't even try to make it make sense.
After that, it just gets worse, with a military coup (in which our newly-arrived heroes are nonsensically key figures), with more gun fights and bomb fights and kung fu and a really improbable escape by freight train. And then, just when you thought it couldn't get more random, out of nowhere he throws in a bunch of Raiders of the Lost Ark stuff.
Raiders of the Lost Ark Stuff
My guess is that Tsui Sui-Ming was a big fan of the Indiana Jones movies. There's tons of Indiana Jones . . . references? . . . throughout Bury Me High. If it was a comedy movie, these references would constitute a running gag. But here they just seem weird and out of place. Like this version of the map room in Raiders of the Lost Ark:
|The Map Room|
Bottom Line of this Chinese Movie Review: It's a heavy-handed, big-budget mess. Genre-wise, it's all over the map. It's potentially weird enough to provide some amusement from the Gweilo's perspective, but there's not really enough to raise it into true WTF or MST3K territory.