‘Forbidden Kingdom’: Action/comedy extravaganza!

Wed, 04/30/2008 - 8:42am
By: Kevin Thomas

Jason (Michal Angarano) is a South Boston teen who loves kung-fu films. He can always get them at the video store run by old Hop (Kung-fu action star Jackie Chan) and the two are friends. One day when he is at the shop, Jason notices an old bo staff, which Hop says was supposed to be picked up by a man who never showed up.

Bullies make Jason show them the store so they can steal Hop’s money. When they see the staff, Hop tries to make them leave, but they shoot him. Jason grabs the staff and gets cornered on top of a building by the bullies and seemingly falls off of the building.

When Jason wakes up, however, he sees not Angels from Heaven, but finds himself transported by the staff into feudal China. He meets Lu Yan (Jackie Chan again), a kung-fu expert. Lu tells Jason of the Monkey King (Jet Li), a funny but awesome warrior who got turned to stone 500 years ago by the evil Jade Warlord. Jason agrees to learn how to do kung-fu and stop the evil Warlord with the help of Lu Yan and Silent Monk (Jet Li again). A beautiful young warrior named Golden Sparrow also helps out. She wants to kill the Warlord because he did the same to her parents.

Jason’s perils include run-ins with the Jade army and a witch named Ni Chang, who is an evil version of Rapunzel.

This movie was the most action-packed film I have ever seen. The plot was fairly simple and the kung-fu scenes were done both creatively and awesomely. However, what I didn’t like was that the bullies in the beginning were very violent and villainous. Also, I thought the Monkey King was not the sharpest sword in the sheath.

This film is not recommended for small children. The film’s intensity level increases as it moves along. There is a good infusion of action and comedy in the film.

Rated PG-13 for violence and some sequences of martial arts action.


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