The Forbidden Kingdom

Despite its name, The Forbidden Kingdom is a light-hearted adventure straight to the center of Chinese folklore. It follows a kung fu-obsessed American who finds himself in the middle of a martial art adventure. Jet Li and Jackie Chan appear on screen for the first time together, leading a capable cast and crew that does not disappoint. But to be honest, I wasn’t amazed either. I like a good chop-em kick-em movie as well as anyone, but I wasn’t left wanting more after this movie. The storyline borrows heavily from Chinese legend and much like a Disney “classic” delivers a new take on an old story. Now don’t get me wrong, the choregraphy and cinematography were fantastic. I actually watched the special features to learn more about the making of the movie. They travelled to the east coast, northern desert and other exotic Chinese locales for simply fantastic scenery. Also, who can complain about Jet and Jackie fighting over a stick? Classic stuff. In the end it was a satisfying action movie that keeps this genre of movies alive and well in America. I look forward to seeing more like it. I give it 3 1/2 stars out of 5 for a fun, but not a memorable movie.