20th Nov2017

‘Lost in the Pacific’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Brandon Routh, Russell Wong, Yuqi Zhang, Bernice Liu, Sunny Wang, Mengjie Jiang, Xiangyu Dai, Vincent M. Ward, Kaiwi Lyman, Bobby Tonelli, Yonglin Yu, Siyu Lu, Tim Parrish, Natasha Lloyd, Tazito Garcia | Written by Vincent Zhou, Peter Cameron | Directed by Vincent Zhou

lost-in-pacific-poster

When one of the first lines in the film is “if anything goes wrong this could be the next Titanic” you know you’re in for the next Titanic… Whether thats a disaster within the film, or the disaster of a film, depends entirely on your penchant for the genre and gloriously over the top productions which feature an international cast hamming it up in 70s disaster movie fashion!

An English-language, Malaysian-filmed sci-fi thriller, Lost in the Pacific sees group of VIP elite passengers (the types of which wouldn’t be out of place in the likes of Airport ’77 or The Poseidon Adventure: a pop star, a former boxer, a rich businessman, news crew, etc.) become stranded on a remote mysterious island after their luxury airliner makes an emergency landing following a thunderstorm. As they await and plan their rescue, they soon realize that the island may have an even darker deadlier secret that none of them will survive.

Writer/director Vincent Zhou seems to have a predilection for airplane disaster movies, his previous effort Flight from Hell (aka Last Flight), also an English-Mandarin co-production, was another  airplane-set disaster-come-horror movie, with a very similar international cast and a very similar supernatural bent – in fact the characters reference a “previous flight” that tried to take off from the same island they have to make a landing on and it turned out to be a deadly disaster! So is this a sequel? Or is Zhou trying to create his own disaster movie “universe” a la Marvel and DC?

To be fair, I absolutely adore just how cheesy this film is. It’s like watching a Chinese version of a made for Syfy movie from The Asylum… Only it’s much better than the likes of Snakes on a Train! Oh, and did I mention that Lost in the Pacific is also heavily influenced by Under Siege? Yes, Under Siege, the Steven Seagal action movie that featured Seagal as a Special Forces soldier turned chef who saved the day when his navy ship was attacked by terrorists… Here the terrorists are accompanied by mutant cats with glowing red eyes, who board the plane once it lands and Steven Seagal has been replaced by Brandon Routh (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow) Yes, it turns out that the ridiculous premise of having an American chef on a Chinese flight, serving only Szechaun food, is NOT just a stupid idea -  it’s actually another gloriously OTT plot device!

Speaking of plots, like many a disaster movie there are numerous sub-plots within Lost in the Pacific… a father estranged from his son, a budding romance between two of the passengers, our heroic chef has PTSD (hence changing careers), etc. none of whch really have any bearing on the film or add to the story beyond creating tension and suspicion. Though why the hell no one, apart from Routh’s chef, are suspicious of the two “UN agents” is one of the films major plot holes – but when you’re dealing with a film that features giant mutant killer cats, a jumbo jet landing on an aircraft carrier and one of the passengers playing a cello in the face of the planes destruction AND in the face of getting eaten by giant red-eyed cats(!), plot holes are the least of your concerns.

Honestly this is THE most fun I’ve had watching a direct-to-DVD movie in years. Ridiculous, over the top, and completely bizarre, Lost in the Pacific is a B-movie fans dream. And props to Vincent Zhou for making Brandon Routh look like a total badass in his fight scenes!

**** 4/5

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