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Action - The Forbidden Kingdom - Jackie Chan / Jet Li

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The Forbidden Kingdom
Jackie Chan, Jet Li
Directed by Rob Minkoff
Lions Gate 2008
104 minutes

In The Forbidden Kingdom, Jackie Chan and Jet Li star together for the first time ever. Unfortunately, the 2 legendary actors are the only good thing about this action movie DVD. I had high expectations and was hoping for a Pirates of the Caribbean styled action/comedy with a Kung Fu twist. Instead The Forbidden Kingdom is a low budget film with a story that is as cliché as it is predictable.

The entire story revolves around a young American boy who is brought back in time thanks to a magical staff he finds in an old Chinese gift shop; been there, done that. He then meets an old drunken martial artist (Jackie Chan) and a wise monk (Jet Li), and as you might have guessed it, they both become his kung fu masters. After the boy has learned all the best fighting techniques and all wisest Chinese proverbs, he is then ready to fight the bad guys and save the world.

The only thing this DVD has going for it are its two leading actors. Without them the movie would be just another bad attemp to make a good kung fu flick. The fights themselves are not much to look. Most seem to be clips from a bad video game, including things such as a guy in a monkey suit and a girl who fights with her magically elastic hair.

The only good combat scene in The Forbidden Kingdom is one where Jackie Chan and Jet Li confront each other in an old Chinese temple, but I don’t think it makes up for the poor acting, bad effects and simply a story that we have seen one too many times.

So, if you are looking for the next great Kung Fu movie, you’re entering the wrong kingdom. On the other hand, if you want watch an okay popcorn film, The Forbidden Kingdom can still do just fine. Just don’t expect anything great, because what’s its name is just another one of those easily forgettable action movie DVDs

Andrew Taylor

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