Monday, April 21, 2008

The Forbidden Kingdom Review

I think I liked this one a lot more than it deserved. The story is a contrived mix of kung-fu movie cliches and homages and of Chinese mythological-type figures and stories. I can't stand the 'flying people' we've had in nearly every martial arts movie since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon his it big. I don't think Michael Angarano is much of an actor, especially as a martial arts bad-ass either. Yet strangely I had a really good time. Angarano's transformation from wimp to winner is somewhat less intolerable than I had expected but the real reason to see this is, obviously, for Chan and Li. The two martial arts masters have wonderful on-screen chemistry and timing. Chan, utlizing roughly the same comedic martial arts style he made famous in Legend of the Drunken Master, and Li have a wonderful fight scene (before teaming up later in the movie) that director Rob Minkoff wisely leaves alone and let's the two simply go at it with minimal distraction. There's a great joy in seeing Jackie Chan and Jet Li in the same movie; I just find myself wishing it had been in a movie with a more legitimate story.

Overall Score: 6/10

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