The Forbidden Kingdom

2008-07-28 10:54
What it's about:

An American teen Jason (Michael Angarano), who is obsessed with Hong Kong cinema and kungfu classics, finds an antique Chinese staff in a pawn shop: the legendary stick weapon of the Chinese sage and warrior, the Monkey King (Jet Li). With the lost relic in hand, Jason unexpectedly finds himself transported back to ancient China. There, he meets the drunken kungfu master, Lu Yan (Jackie Chan); an enigmatic and skillful Silent Monk (Jet Li); and a vengeance-bent kungfu beauty, Golden Sparrow (Crystal Liu Yi Fei), who lead him on his quest to return the staff to its rightful owner, the Monkey King - imprisoned in stone by the evil Jade Warlord (Collin Chou) for five hundred years. Along the way, while attempting to outmaneuver scores of Jade Warriors, Cult Killers and the deadly White Hair Demoness, Ni Chang (Li Bing Bing), Jason learns about honor, loyalty and friendship, and the true meaning of kungfu, and thus frees himself.

What the critics say:

"While top-billed duo do indeed occupy plenty of screen time, this is basically the latest version of that post-Star Wars fantasy concept in which only a middle-class white teenage boy can save the universe from, y'know, Evil."
Dennis Harvey, Variety

"Part of the charm, yes, is the goofiness of it all - but the film would have been better if it were more cohesive, streamlined, and focused."
Eric D. Snider,

"When Chan and Li match wits, each celebrates the other's presence. This isn't just a martial-arts display; it's generosity and camaraderie in motion."
Stephanie Zacharek,

"The worst part of the martial-arts epic The Forbidden Kingdom [is] a moment near the halfway mark when there arrives a gag that involves Chan getting a face full of urine. This kingdom really should be forbidden."
Adam Markovitz, Entertainment Weekly

"One of the more entertaining movies we've seen in recent months."
Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
A kung fu obsessed teen goes on an adventure where he joins martial arts warriors in order to free the imprisoned Monkey King.

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