New In Theatre Review: The Forbidden Kingdom starring Jackie Chan and Jet Li

On my way to see this week’s movie in review, I was shown three sure fire reasons why this was gone to be a great kung fu movie. The first was when I was parking my car, in the theater’s parking lot and observed a man with a little girl. When they approached the car they had came in, all of a sudden they got into a fierce mock kung fu battle. This went on for like ten minutes. The movie started with a small glimpse of an epic battle between a fierce warrior and an army of armed soldiers on top of some mountains high above the clouds. This was my second hint. My third hint was when Jackie Chan and Jet Li were first shown together in this movie, and immediately started fighting. This movie tells the story of a “Jason Tripitikas” (Michael Angarano ), who is a kung fu fanatic. In his search for more classic kung fu movies to watch, he discovers that the old Chinese man at his local pawn shop where he buys his movies has an ancient staff hidden in a back room. The man tells him the story of the staff, and how it once belonged to a great warrior named “The Monkey King’. The warrior gets into a heated battle with the “Jade War Lord” (Collin Chou), who tricks him and captures him, but not before he summons his staff to fly away, never to be seen again until the chosen one, also known as “The Searcher” finds the staff and returns it back to the Monkey Key to break the spell that the Jade Warlord has cast upon him. In a blotched robbery attempt the old Chinese man is shot, and Jason is chased by the young thugs onto a rooftop, where he falls off and wakes up in ancient China with the staff still in hand. Once there he meets a drunken kung fu master named “Lu Yan” (Jackie Chan) who tells him that he must be the chosen one sent back to restore the wrong that has been put upon the Monkey King. On they’re journey to the Jade Warlords castle they meet up with a mysterious young woman named “Golden Sparrow” ( Liu Yifei), who too has reasons to want to confront the Jade Warlord. Next they meet up with a monk named “Silent Monk” ( Jet Li), who at first steals the staff from Jason in an attempt to find out why he has the ancient staff. After he and Lu Yan get into one of the best kung fu fight scenes I’ve seen since “Neo” fought “Mr. Smith” in the first Matrix movie. They realize that they all have the same agenda, to return the staff to the Monkey King. There’s just one problem. The Jade Warlord is an immortal, and he has a very large army also. He also incorporates the services of a young assassin named “Li Bingbing” (Ni Chang), who he sends out to retrieve the magical staff, in return to be able to drink from the magical elixir that gives mortals immortality. Oh and also Jason knows no kung fu!

Lu Yan and the Silent Monk start to teach Jason kung fu, for without it he doesn’t stand a chance at getting into the castle to return the staff to it’s owner, and thereby getting the opportunity to be sent back to his rightful time in the future. This movie has some really great fight scenes and is a kung fu lovers dream pairing Jet Li and Jackie Chan together. Plus they are both doing classic kung fu moves, like they use to early on in they’re careers before Jackie started doing comedic kung fu, and Jet started doing street fighting kung fu. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time waiting for the next fight to break out, and couldn’t wait to write this review. I literally walked out of the theater ready to see this movie all over again. As an added gift to the movie, Jackie and Jet play two different characters also, as Jet Li also plays “The Monkey King”, and Jackie Chan also plays the old pawn shop keeper “Old Hop”. Now don’t think this story is as deep as “Crouching Tiger…”, so it won’t be getting any Academy nods. What it lacks in story depth was never a factor, this is a movie just for kung fu fans to be entertained, and show that the genre is still great to watch. Jackie Chan does add the comedic scenes to the movie, with the help of Jet Li at times, to keep you laughing in between the battles. The women in this movie are also extraordinary in they’re skills at kung fu. Ni Chang is breathtaking as the woman assassin, as she whips her hair at people as an added weapon at her disposal. This is a perfect movie for the whole family, and it just may have you all doing your own moves on one another on the way out of the theater. I can’t express enough times at how good this movie was, at giving me just what I expected from two of the most acclaimed martial artist in the business with Jackie and Jet. It was a high flying, roundhouse kicking, sword fighting, staff blocking action adventure, that also had a bit of fantasy to boot. I give this movie my first 3 star rating out of 4. There’s no reason for me to come up with any references to the movie when giving out my rating. Just go see this movie! It’s that good! The movie runs 1 hour and 53 minutes, so it’s sure worth the price of admission. It’s rated PG-13 for sequences of martial arts action and some violence. It was directed by Rob Minkoff, and written by John Fusco. It was distributed by Lionsgate films.

Life is a kung fu movie, make sure you have skills. Ezo

Born in Harlem, raised in the Bronx. Chilled in Brooklyn, drove through Queens, and took a boat to Staten Island. A true New Yorker.

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