Lost in the Pacific (2016) Review

Is this the worse movie of 2016?

Lost in the Pacific is a 2016 sci-fi thriller about a giant airliner on it’s inaugural flight that ends up a disaster, in more ways than one.

Be sure to listen to our lively discussion of this movie in our audio review above. A mainstay of B-movie fodder is the beloved creature feature, once a drive-in staple that became filler for DVD bins and now cheap VOD rentals. For fans, the absurd plots and low-budget effects have made them a genre of their own with a huge following, with the lower the quality often garnering bigger praise. Cheesy and sometimes purposefully bad, many have a kind of charm that makes them fun to watch, though often it’s the opposite, as poorly-made efforts take themselves too seriously end up nothing but a painful mess.

And so we have Lost in the Pacific, a Chinese made, English language movie filmed in Malaysia about an experimental luxury airbus on its first flight from Rio to Hong Kong though only a few passengers are onboard, wealthy international types who are meant to praise the trip. They include an athlete, a journalist, a wealthy diplomate, and entertainers, though who they are doesn’t matter. Meanwhile, the female captain, deemed the prettiest woman on the plane, gets her role taken from her by the company’s stooge to become an attendant instead because you know, girls. Tensions mount among others as well, most especially Mr. Gary Gao (Russell Wong), the airline CEO who is upset about pop singer Colin (Sunny Wang) on board, his estranged son who is a surprise guest he didn’t know was coming. No way that relationship that will be only exposition. Oh wait.

When a sudden thunderstorm threatens the safety of the plane, the crew decide to make an emergency landing on an isolated site called Fortune Island, where it’s rumored an infestation of supernatural red-eyed house cats have chased away even the military. They land anyway and sure enough, as some of the passengers sneak off the plane, the cats attack and one gets on board the plane. After some casualties, survivors manage to get airborne again and then real trouble begins. Meow.

Directed by Vincent Zhou, who only two years earlier produced Last Flight, with a similar plot, Lost in the Pacific is a nonsensical mess that, despite its openly ridiculous plot fails at every attempt to capitalize on the premise. While the budget is obviously ultra-low, with remarkably bad visual effects, that doesn’t excuse the sub-par writing and painfully wooden performances, which includes none other than Brandon Routh, who is well out of his place here, looking desperate but glad to be working.

Lost in the Pacific
Lost in the Pacific, 2016 © Shanghai Hongliang Media & Culture Co.

He plays a character named Mike, a Sichuan chef hired to be the cook on the plane after the original master fell sick. Naturally, Ruoxin (Zhang Yuqi), the displaced female captain is suspicious of him from the start (though you can bet where that relationship goes), and of course has every right to be as we soon learn, he’s an ex Special Ops soldier and if you’re already thinking, gee, that sounds familiar, then you’ve probably seen Steven Segals‘s 1992 thriller Under Siege. Of course there were no supernatural cats in that movie, but having them in this one doesn’t make it any better.

The real issue is the utter lack of joy in the production, a sterile, bland, and lifeless chore of an experience that is sexist, mean, embarrassingly predictable and aggressively illogical and lazy (the airline is called Ocean Airlines, which is printed in big letters on the side of the plane, and yet the president of the company keeps calling it Oceanic). The small cast of mixed nationalities all speak English to varying degrees of garbled success, which is by no means the fault of the actors, but instead of revealing a global sense of need for it in the plot, feels like pressure from a studio that is looking to expand its market, and a truth that most Western audiences simply won’t read subtitles.

Worse are the cats though, who are woefully underused and are clearly the work of a computer animator making good use of a cloning tool. It’s too bad they couldn’t have played more into the plot than they do, especially considering how badly the story really needed something better to motivate momentum. With truly awful acting and no creativity, the film is not even bad it’s fun, instead a dull, cheaply-made movie that should be avoided.

Lost in the Pacific (2016) Review

Movie description: Lost in the Pacific is a 2016 sci-fi thriller about a giant airliner on it's inaugural flight that ends up a disaster.

Director(s): Vincent Zhou

Actor(s): Brandon Routh, Yuqi Zhang, Russell Wong

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

  • Kim
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