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The Forbidden Kingdom

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PG-13
2008

The Forbidden Kingdom is a 2008 action-adventure fantasy film starring Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Michael Angarano, directed by Rob Minkoff, and written by John Fusco. The film tells the story of a young American boy named Jason (Angarano) who becomes transported to ancient China through a magical staff found in a pawn shop. In China, he must unite with the drunken kung fu master Lu Yan (Chan) and the silent monk Golden Sparrow (Liu Yifei) to fulfill a prophecy and return the staff to its rightful owner, the Monkey King (Li).

The film takes place in both modern-day Boston and ancient China, and its production design and visual effects blend the two worlds seamlessly. The scenes in ancient China are particularly stunning, with sweeping landscapes, ornate costumes, and intricate fighting sequences that showcase the skills of the film's two martial arts legends, Chan and Li.

The story is a classic hero's journey, with the reluctant Jason forced to take on a quest to save a foreign land he knows nothing about. Along the way, he is mentored by Lu Yan, who dispenses drunken wisdom and humor in equal measure, and Golden Sparrow, a skilled fighter who teaches Jason the importance of discipline and focus. The dynamic between the three is both funny and heartwarming, as they learn from one another and become a makeshift family.

For fans of Chan and Li, The Forbidden Kingdom is a long-awaited dream come true. The two actors had never acted together onscreen before, despite both being icons of martial arts cinema, and their chemistry is palpable. Chan plays Lu Yan with his signature blend of physical humor and earnest heart, while Li portrays the stoic Monkey King with quiet intensity. Their fight scenes together are a highlight of the film, as they bring their years of experience and expertise to create some of the most exciting and technically impressive martial arts sequences ever put on film.

But The Forbidden Kingdom is not just an action movie. It also explores themes of destiny, loyalty, and the power of myth and legend. The legend of the Monkey King is one of the most famous in Chinese folklore, and the film honors this tradition by incorporating elements of Chinese mythology and culture throughout. Jason's journey is also one of self-discovery, as he learns to believe in himself and his own abilities, and the importance of family and sacrifice.

The film's cast also includes some talented Chinese actors, including Liu Yifei as Golden Sparrow, who holds her own against the veteran performers, and Collin Chou as the villainous Jade Warlord, who manages to be both menacing and sympathetic. The film also features a cameo from Li Bingbing, who has since gone on to international fame with roles in films like Resident Evil: Retribution and The Meg.

Overall, The Forbidden Kingdom is a thrilling adventure full of heart and humor, and a film that both honors and revitalizes the martial arts genre. It's a must-see for fans of Chan and Li, but also for anyone who loves a good action movie with a strong message at its core.

The Forbidden Kingdom is a Action, Adventure, Fantasy movie released in 2008. It has a runtime of 113 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.5. It also holds a MetaScore of 57.

How to Watch The Forbidden Kingdom

Where can I stream The Forbidden Kingdom movie online? The Forbidden Kingdom is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, Peacock Premium, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Forbidden Kingdom for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

6.5/10
57/100
Director
Rob Minkoff
Stars
Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Collin Chou, Liu Yifei, Li Bingbing, Michael Angarano
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