The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2008-04-20
We caught "Forbidden Kingdom" at a matinee today. A few notes:

The fight between Jackie Chan and Jet Li was pretty good--too much CGI or whatever it is when there is flying through the air without wires--but they can both still really sell it.

Jackie Chan didn't really do his Drunken Kung Fu much at all. Mainly he drank wine and beat people up although once in a while beat them up while holding a wine flask. But nothing like "Drunken Master" and the ones that followed.

Jet Li as playing a monk who is a kung fu master was terrific casting since he showed pretty well in "Unleashed" ("Danny the Dog" in some markets) that he doesn't have the training to be a dramatic film actor.

Collin Chou was a terrific bad guy--he plays the Jade Warlord--and does everything one would expect including killing the bearer of bad tidings, ordering large scale slaughter, outrageously good overacting.

Lee Bing-Bing should be in more movies. Fifty a year would be about right. The magical white hair added nothing to her presence but the 20 foot bullwhip was a good touch.

They didn't need to go through all that trouble to free the Monkey King from his prison of stone because one look from Liu Yi-Fei could melt a rock.

Michael Angarano seems to be a generic white teenage or early 20s actor. There are probably 100 actors who could have done as well but he didn't do a bad job. He was just there.

The score is outstanding--I would buy it before I would buy a DVD of the movie.

Peter Pau made everything look great. After shooting "The Promise" and "The Bride With White Hair" this must have been a walk in the park.

Yuen Wo-Ping is without peer. Having done seven movies each with Jet Li and Jackie Chan he knew exactly how to choreograph everything for them. Even with an executive producer credit he is still listed in advertising materials and the credits as Woo-ping Yuen.

The tough guys who terrorized Jason at the beginning and end of the movie would last about two hours in any really tough part of town--I don't know about Boston's South End, where the framing story is set, but they would be chewed up and spit out on the South side of Chicago, a place with which I am very familiar.

Rob Minkoff might be a hack but with Peter Pau shooting and Yuen Wo-Ping taking care of the action all he had to do was frame the shots and keep things moving.
Reviewer Score: 7