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4.4 out of 5 stars138
4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 16 November 2008
A movie with Jackie Chan and Jet Li is a mouth watering prospect to me, so to hear that this was to be released was great news.
The Forbidden Kingdom is the story of Jason, who lives an ordinary life in South Boston. Jason loves his kung fu flicks, and after awakening from a dream of The Monkey King (Jet Li) finds his life starts to turn upside down.
Michael Angorano plays Jason very well, his character development is fun to watch and the characters he meets are all manner of weird and wonderful.
There are numerous homages to old kung fu heroes and kung fu movies throughout the film and this alone warrants another viewing.
Jet Li is brilliant as The Monkey King (and as another character - The Silent Monk) - great humour. Jackie Chan is as funny as ever as The Drunken Immortal and there is a great supporting cast of immortals/mortals to enjoy.
The action is fantastic, some great fight scenes, some wonderful battle sequences and an intruiging and great story to go with it.
This is a wonderfully made, well thought out action/fantasy film. Not too taxing on the brain, great to watch, beautifully directed and some great acting - all in all this is a lot more than a kung fu flick and is highly reccommended.
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on 27 May 2009
I know The Forbidden Kingdom has a rating of 12 but I reckon most 8 year olds could watch this really. Anyway when I saw this film starred Jackie Chan and Jet Li two of the best martial artists alive today, I just knew it would be something rather speciel indeed. A teenager who is a massive martial arts fan finds this magic staff which somehow whisked him off to this forbidden kingdom where he must free the imprisoned Monkey King. Jackie Chan plays a drunken master who reminds me a little bit of Shun-Di from Virtua Fighter in the way he drinks as he fights at one point. Jet Li plays a monk and one of the highlights of the film is seeing these to pros fight eachother. They both play other roles in the film which will give you something to look out for and the fights scenes are most excellent. In fact sometimes when a film has a lot of fighting it can get a bit boring but I did not find this one bit with The Forbidden Kingdom because the choregraphy is brilliant.
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Where to start? At first I was unsure of this film as I like my fighting films to be in their true form with subtext and a little more serious. Once I got it out my head that this film was not going to be like that and I treated it for what it was I enjoyed it a lot more. The Monkey king reminded me of the old Monkey programme back in the day which some of you older customers may remember which is no bad thing. I was unsure in the kid who played a major role, it reminded me of the Karate Kid films in a way where a kid with no fighting skills wants to learn more. I am a big fan of Jet Li so it was great to see him in a film with Jackie Chan, who but play great roles within the film.

As I am reviewing the Blu Ray version I can only described the visuals as fantastic and the best part of watching High Def films. The scenery is absolutely brilliant and really jumps out at you. I have also ordered House of Flying Daggers which I hope also makes a fantastic visual leap to Blu Ray.

All in all, the film is tongue and cheek martial arts film for the family. Not the best film of its kind but good none the less.
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on 24 May 2009
Both Jackie Chan,and Jet Li seem to delight in the banter between themselves,as well as the tongue in cheek references to the fighting styles advocated in various branches of Kung Fu.
The action sequences are stunning,and for once the wire work merely adds to the fun and enjoyment.
The Picture Quality is excellent.
Thoroughly recommended.
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on 21 November 2008
Jackie Chan makes a great drunken mystic, and Jet Li is as good as ever in this very entertaining film. The setpieces are great and there are quite a few good laughs involved in this movie. It is aimed at kids, but it's still good fun and well worth watching.
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on 2 March 2010
The forbidden Kingdom has something for everyone and the Blu Ray version is nicely presented both visually and sonically.
The film is suitable for adults and children alike, a perfect family movie. Everything is really typical of Jackie chans values and of adventure movies in general, fight scenes do not result in visual deaths and there are some great little bits of humour to keep this movie on the lighter side of entertainment.
Jet Li is excelent as the monkey king and the supporting villains and heroes are all welcome additions to the core cast.
If you like a little fantasy or Kung fu or maybe a bit of both, you can't go far wrong with this movie.It also offers great value at this price.
Enjoy
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on 24 April 2009
This is a fun film. And what else would you expect from Jet li and Jackie Chan than a film set in china. My only gripe with it, is the american kid. On my first watch I was quite annoyed it wasen't all about Jackie and Li but after I watched it a second time on blu ray, I accepted it alot better. The blu ray is excellent. I watched a friends dvd before and it was on the poor side, but then that might have been his set up. But blu ray is definately the way forward and the quality of this film cements that idea
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East meets West and kung-fu legends collide as Jackie Chan and Jet Li square off in the fists-a-flying, family-friendly FORBIDDEN KINGDOM.
Based on the classical Chinese novel JOURNEY TO THE WEST, the film begins in modern-day Boston. There, while teenage kung-fu flick enthusiast Jason (Michael Angarano) is buying bootleg DVDs from his favourite shopkeeper, Old Hop (Chan, aged by prosthetic makeup), he is drawn to an ancient golden staff. When a local bully forces weakling Jason to help rob Old Hop, Jason escapes with the staff and is magically transported to ancient China. He is soon rescued from the forces of the Jade Warlord by Lu Yan (Chan), a raggedy wanderer whose wine-guzzling ways conceal his kung-fu mastery. Yan reveals the truth of the staff, and that Jason is the fabled Seeker who must return it to the Monkey King (Li) to prevent the warlord's evil plans. The two are joined in their quest by a kung-fu master, Silent Monk (Li), and a beautiful orphan (Liu Yifei) who harbours her own personal vendetta. Despite their differences, the two masters teach Jason the ways of the kung-fu warrior. And when Lu Yan is gravely wounded by the warlord's sexy assassin, Jason must bring his newfound skills and courage to bear if he is to save one world and return to his own.
Choreographed by action impresario Woo-ping Yuen (THE MATRIX, KILL BILL) and shot on location in China, FORBIDDEN KINGDOM is an appealing family adventure about the importance of working together and the value of believing in one's abilities.
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on 16 July 2008
Jackie Chan (Rush Hour) and Jet Li (Hero) team up in Rob Minkoff's fantasy adventure about a teenager who is brought to a kingdom to return a magical staff to an ancient warrior to restore peace and harmony.

In the run up to this film, there was the much anticipated pairing of two of Chinese cinemas finest actors in Chan and Li and neither disappointed in a good fantasy adventure.

Though the plot runs on a few clichés, it is exciting, tense and intriguing viewing with usual Chinese cinema style fighting, very fast and flowing, chases and amazing effects to conform to the genre, and also a bit of humour as well. There were moments when you may feel yourself turning away as a cliché becomes unbelievably corny and predictable but the fights and plot will have your eyes glued to the screen for almost 2 hours of running time.

The direction by Minkoff is good, bizarre but intriguing in justifying the character's actions and reactions. I've personally never been a big fan of CGI, but when used here is used to maximum effect making it a spectacle of bright lights and magic.

I wondered after watching; whether the film would have been better in Chinese with subtitles, just to add a bit more intensity and surprise to certain scenes, just an after thought really. But still good in English, all actors did well, though Angarano plays a complete teenage stereotype I found it embarrassing to watch at some points.

Though critics have said the plot does follow an American young hero who must save the day and defeat the odds etc, there is still magic and interest to the tale, plus the chorography and visual effects add to the intensity of the situations and if you look past all the clichés then it is an enjoyable fighting fantasy film.

8/10
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on 3 February 2010
....providing you are a fan of the genre.

People who are keen watchers of all things martial arts will love the choregraphed fight scenes, the homage to past movies such as Drunken Master and the fact the Monkey-King is reimagined away from the overdubbed TV show of so many years ago.

If you aren't a big fan of this type of film then clearly you are going to grow weary of the adequate, but not overly deep, plot of this particular movie. It is what it is, it doesn't pretend to be anything else. It is a fun family martial arts film with a very predictable storyline but oen that you can watch, disengage the brain and marvel at the agility and style of both of the key actors in this, Chan and Li are simply amazing. It's given a more Western touch with the typical boy is clueless, get's trained, becomes a martial arts master and conquers his enemies feel to it but it's mixed in with so many nods to past movies that it is very enjoyable none-the-less.

OK, so this isn't groundberaking, it's not likely to win any awards for best picture and the acting isn't particularly Oscar worthy, but thats not what this movie is about. I have seen a lot worse attempts than this at makign a west-east martial arts crossover movie so sit back, relax and disengage the brain and just enjoy whats there rather than expecting more than it gives. It still has just as much plot as Avatar :)
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