Forbidden Kingdom is about a martial arts fan who gets a staff that takes him to another dimension. He must return the staff to the monkey king, so that the monkey king can be released from its stone prison and defeat the villainous Jade Lord. Along the way the kid meets several interesting characters such as his drunk teacher played by Jackie Chan, a woman with a revenge vendetta and a mysterious monk played by Jet Li.
The kid is played by your average actor and has a lot of character growth during the movie. He moves from your average fan to a strong martial artist both in the other dimension and in reality. This is a great movie for martial arts fans to watch because this basically would be their dream of being taught by the greatest martial artists, going on an adventure with them and saving the day, everything the movie store manager said a martial arts fan would dream about.
The drunk teacher is played by Jackie Chan and drunk money fist is his typical martial arts style, so it makes sense that Jackie Chan would play a drunk martial artist. Jet Li is as cool as ever with playing a monk. There is a woman who has a revenge vendetta and a jade dart to defeat the Jade Lord. She is quite attractive and powerful. One great thing about martial arts is that it’s an equalizer allowing women to fight on the same level as men despite differences in size and strength.
The two main villains are both pretty good. The Jade Lord really makes you dislike him with his trickery in freezing the powerful but naive monkey king and what he does to one of the protagonists during the final battle. The woman who works for him has some interesting battle techniques such as using her hair and a whip.
There is a lot of great action in this movie with Jackie Chan and Jet Li at their absolute best for their ages, although sometimes the action can be a little too fantastical because it takes place in a different dimension. There is a lot of jumping around, soaring through the air and magic abilities that makes this sometimes difficult to believe and relate to.
There are some very humorous characters in this movie. Jackie Chan is funny as the drunken master and the monkey king is humorous as well with his tricks. He kind of reminds me for some strange reason of the sensei in Kill Bill with his cartoonish look and mannerisms. Jet Li has a funny moment when he casts water upon Jackie Chan and his scroll magic for it to rain.
The music is average but the sets are beautiful. They have an old, majestic, magical feel to them. There are castles, fields, temples and caves through out this movie.
I first saw this movie when it came out in May of 2008, which was a fantastic month for movies. My dad and I both loved the movie when we first saw it, remember it despite not seeing it for six years and were glad to see it again, so I could review it.