Reasons why you want to watch Forbidden Kingdom!
1. Jackie Chan and Jet Li, of course. Their fight in the temple is a thing of beauty. Sure, they kick major butt in the movies, but it’s also easy to tell that they both have serious skills in real life, just from watching their speed, balance and form. They seem to enjoy working with each other and the choreography makes both men look good. Plus, even in the non action scenes they work well together. I’d love to see them do a few more movies together, hopefully with them being the focus of the plot. Which brings me to…
2. Michael Angarano. He accomplishes so much in this role it’s hard to name it all. The stuntmen look great because they make his weak martial skills look badass. And he really never looks any good just on his own, they really needed to give him plenty of time to train for this if they wanted him to look any good. His romantic chemistry makes Hayden Christensen in the new Star Wars movies look like Brad Pitt. Even average actors would look good next to him thanks to his craptacular skills. But it’s all ok. Don’t let anyone fool you, he’s really the side kick of all the other characters.
3. The homages. There are so many references and homages to other movies. The White Haired Sorceress is Lian Ni Chang from Bride with White Hair (a movie referenced by the sidekick earlier in the movie). A Karate Kid theme pops up now and then, both in the training and the begining and end plotline. Jackie Chan again plays a drunken fighter. Jet Li again plays a monk. Both among their most famous roles. Quotes from Bruce Lee appear all through the movie as well. And like any good Chinese movie, main characters do die.
I tend to agree with reviews that call it more of a kids movie, the violence is bloodless even if someone dies. I like that they didn’t cop out on character death. And that they didn’t do the sterotypical ‘new kid after little training becomes badass’. I’d recommend this movie.
We now return to your regularly scheduled WoW blogging.