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Film / Treasure Hunter

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Two years after Curse of the Golden Flower, and Jay haven't found a barber yet?

The Treasure Hunter is a 2009 Taiwanese action film directed by Kevin Chu and Ching Siu-tung, starring Jay Chou, Lin Zhi-ling, Eric Zhang and Chen Dao-ming.

The northwestern desert of Mongolia holds an ancient mausoleum in its sands filled with treasures and riches. The wandering drifter and adventurer, Qiao-fei (Jay) got his hands on part of a treasure map leading to the tomb, but is also stuck with the kidnapped Lan Ting (Lin Chi-ling), the daughter of Qiao's mentor, in the middle of a desert. Joining a crew of treasure seekers including the money-hungry Pork Rib (Tsang) and Master Hua (Chen), a former adventurer of a failed expedition, the treasure hunters will have to battle against rival treasure seekers, desert marauders, traitors, and brave the booby-trapped mausoleum.

Troper Hunters:

  • Adventurer Archaeologist: The titular treasure hunter refers to Qiao-fei the protagonist.
  • Animated Armor: Early in the film, Qiao-fei is ambushed by a set of living armor animated by enchanted sand. Holding a dismantled pistol, Qiao-fei re-assembles said pistol in mere seconds and blasts the armor apart with ease.
  • Booby Trap: Plenty of underground traps await intruders in the mausoleum, including razor-sharp discs, acid, and mind-warping poison that turns victims into mindless beasts.
  • Badass Longcoat: Protagonist and asskicker Qiao-fei is almost never seen without his brown trench coat.
  • Cigar-Fuse Lighting: During the desert chase sequence with the desert raiders in pursuit, Pork Rib finds a sack full of dynamites at the back of the jeep, but couldn't find a lighter. Master Hua, from the driver's seat, hands his lit cigarette to Pork Rib telling him to "blow those bastards up".
  • Desert Bandits: The mooks that constantly terrorize the protagonists throughout the first half of the film are desert raiders who travels in packs on horseback.
  • Desert Punk: The main setting of the film.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Master Hua in his final scene, when he deliberately stays in the collapsing treasure cavern to die, with the rest of his friends from the past expedition.
  • Faceless Goons: Deliberately invoked; plenty of desert bandits (whose faces are never revealed due to their sinister-looking masks) die in the desert chase scene, either by shotgun or dynamite, yet audiences are never supposed to feel anything for them other than to view them as body-bag fillers, because of this trope.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The desert raiders wears sinister-looking black masks resembling black skulls.
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: Deliberately invoked; Master Hua Ding-bang, the survivor of the previous desert expedition, only managed to prevent himself from dying of starvation by eating the bodies of his fellow teammates, many which are his closest friends.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Pork Rib is only referred to as such throughout the movie.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Qiao-fei, during the desert chase scene, uses his trusty Winchester shotgun to take names.
  • Sole Survivor: Master Hua is the only survivor of a previous expedition to the underground mausoleum hidden underneath the desert, and constantly suffering from Survivor's Guilt due to the fact that he's forced to feast on the corpses of his friends to save himself from starving to death.
  • Thirsty Desert: The setting of the entire movie is the northern Chinese desert. A previous expedition in the desert (which Master Hua is a member of) has claimed at least twenty lives with Hua as the only surviving member.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: The desert chase sequence had Pork Rib taking out hordes and hordes of desert raiders pursuing the jeep by flinging dynamites at their direction. He probably used up the entire dynamite sack in the process.
  • Weapon Specialization: Qiao-fei's preferred weapon in close combat is a whip, which he used to take down enemy fighters, and later on strangle a possessed treasure hunter in the mausoleum.
  • Wham Line: Delivered by Master Hua when he eventually reveals the truth behind his survival from the doomed expedition:
    Master Hua: "You never know how I survived the desert, without food, and all my friends dead, for weeks... because I ATE them."