Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Forbidden Kingdom

In a Nutshell: An excuse for Jackie Chan and Jet Li to be in a movie together. Awesome fights, not much else. But you knew that already, didn't you?

Quick Plot: In ancient China, the Monkey King is imprisoned by the evil Jade Warlord. In modern day New York, a Kung Fu obsessed American teenager finds his magic staff in a pawn shop, which transports him back in time and sets him on a quest to free the Monkey King, with the help of a drunken master, a silent monk, and a vengeful girl.

In Detail: Nothing unexpected here, so don't expect too much going in. Well, that's not entirely true. It was quite unexpected to learn that Jet Li really can smile and express genuine joy. It was rather amazing to see! And he looks terrible as a blond (but that's not really unexpected, is it? LOL). The plot is pretty silly, though it does lend itself to a few chuckles here and there. No one is watching for the plot, though. You see this movie because it is the first time that Jackie Chan and Jet Li appear in a movie together, and fight each other. In this, the film does not disappoint. I do wish they had managed to find a better showcase, but they give their all to make it amazing, no matter how ridiculous the story is. Legend has it that they've been working for well over 10 years to find the right confluence of studios, scripts, and schedules that would allow them to work together, and given their current ages (Li is 45, Chan is 54), they weren't sure they could wait much longer, so they accepted this opportunity when it presented itself. It will be sad if this is the only film they get to make together, but better to have this one than none at all.

Will I Buy It? Not sure. We'll have to think about it. A good intro to kung fu films, but still not really a kids movie (it is PG-13 for good reason).