There was must anticipation and expectations put against the movie The Forbidden Kingdom, which starred two Martial Arts superstars: Jet Li and Jackie Chan. The movie did not disappoint.
This movie was the first time these two greats had a chance to collaborate on screen together (and itís the hope from me that it wonít be the last). The opening scenes are a kick back to what made the two actors legendary to begin with, the high-flying and very traditional antics of old style Hong Kong Martial Arts movies. The opening scene also exposes new viewers to a glimpse of the impressive story behind the great Monkey King.
Following the format of many great stories and movies of old like, Legend, Alice in Wonderland and Narnia, the young boy Jason Tripitikas (played by Michael Angarano) finds everyday life a bit less than desirable and is out of place with the world around him. His one solace is in watching Martial Arts movies. When he runs into trouble with some local gang kids, he falls and awakes in Ancient China where he must free the Monkey King to save the world and get home safely.
But our young hero, while versed in watching Martial Arts, knows nothing about the true application of the art. In steps Old Hop (played by Jackie Chan) and The Silent Monk (played by Jet Li) who take the young boy and train him in the ways of Martial Arts. Along with Golden Sparrow (played by Yifei Liu), they take on the evil Jade Warlord and his minions.
The high-flying and masterful Martial Arts invoke the nostalgia of old style Hong Kong movies that seem to have fallen to the wayside the last few years. Of course, as we expect with these more modern movies, thereís always a happy ending. But one can forgive this departure from the more melodramatic older versions and simply sit back and enjoy seeing two greats on the screen together. Jet Li and Jackie Chan paired up together on the screen is electrifying and the fight scenes with the two together awe inspiring.
Donít expect a lot of deep meaning in this movie, just sit back and enjoy the action.