The Forbidden Kingdom (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)



Critic Consensus: This hotly-anticipated pairing of martial arts legends Jackie Chan and Jet Li features dazzling fight scenes but is weighed down by too much filler.

The Forbidden Kingdom Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Legendary martial arts stars Jackie Chan and Jet Li come together onscreen for the first time ever in director Rob Minkoff's time-traveling take on the Monkey King fable that finds an American teen transported back to ancient China after wandering into a pawn shop and discovering the king's fighting stick. Once there, the adventurous teen joins an army of fierce warriors who have sworn to free their imprisoned king at all costs. In addition to appearing as the mythical Monkey King, Li assumes the role of a silent monk, and Chan appears in the role of kung fu master Lu Yan. Famed action choreographer Yuen Woo Ping presides over the fight sequences. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovimore
Rating: PG-13 (for sequences of martial arts action and some violence)
Genre: Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: John Fusco
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 9, 2008
Lionsgate - Official Site


Jackie Chan
as Lu Yan/Old Hop
Jet Li
as Monkey King/Silent M...
Michael Angarano
as Jason Tripitikas
Collin Chou
as Jade Warlord
Yifei Liu
as Little Princess Gold...
Bingbing Li
as Ni Chang
Bing Li
as Ni Chang, the White...
Juana Collignon
as Southie Girl
Thomas McDonell
as Young Southie
Ma Gui Zhi
as Old Woman
Jian Bin
as Young Village Man
Yang Shao Hua
as Jade Soldier
Yuan Zeng Yu
as Innkeeper
Wang De Shun
as Jade Emperor
Liu Xiao Li
as Queen Mother
Xiao Dong Mei
as Innkeeper's Wife
Matthew Tang
as Jade Officer No. 1
Cheng Hong Jun
as Jade Officer No. 2
Alan Ng
as Jade Officer No. 3
Michelle Du
as Painted Girl
Yang Jun
as Herald No. 1
Crystal Kung
as Slave Girl
Jeffrey Kung
as Herald No. 2
Xu Wei Jia
as Tracker
Huang Ming Sheng
as Cult Killer No. 1
Rui Li
as Cult Killer No. 2
Zhang Fei Long
as Cult Killer No. 3
Luo Yun Cheng
as Cult Killer No. 4
Zhou Xiao Wen
as Cult Killer No. 5
Lin Hai Bin
as Cult Killer No. 6
Zhi Hui Jie
as Cult Killer No. 7
Shi Xiao Ju
as Golden Sparrow's Mot...
Guo Meng
as Young Golden Sparrow
Cui Wen Lu
as Goat Herder
Li Xiao Yong
as Young Monk No. 1
Zhen Zhang
as Young Monk No. 2
Zhoa Zi Wan
as Medicine Monk
Matthew Grant
as Paramedic
Liu Yifei
as Golden Sparrow
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Forbidden Kingdom

Critic Reviews for The Forbidden Kingdom

All Critics (127) | Top Critics (33)

... has fun with the tale and Americanizes the genre without losing the pleasures of its Asian inspirations.

Full Review… | March 24, 2016

Surprisingly a lot of fun, with a simple good vs. evil plot, nice action sequences and a battle of the ages between two of the biggest martial art movie masters.

Full Review… | October 18, 2012
Lyles' Movie Files

If you're a big Jackie Chan and/or Jet Li fan this movie was made for you and you should go see it on the big screen once. But because of a complete lack of storytelling effort from the filmmakers, there's no reason to ever see it more than once.

Full Review… | March 22, 2011

Kung fu fever and fluff mix it up with hordes of floating knights in shining armor with bad attitude, and just a little heavy on the dressing, courtesy of the costume department.

Full Review… | September 9, 2008

Think of it as a kung fu fairy tale almost anyone can appreciate.

Full Review… | August 28, 2008
Movie Metropolis

The first onscreen meeting of screen legends Jackie Chan and Jet Li is possibly reason enough to see this fantasy, whose extravagant martial arts sequences are choreographed by Woo-ping Yuen, whose signature was inked in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

Full Review… | July 18, 2008
Urban Cinefile

Audience Reviews for The Forbidden Kingdom

A decent martial arts flick int he tradition of the old Crouching Tiger feel, Li and Chan have both done better but this was not bad.

John Manard

Super Reviewer


An American kung fu movie geek is entrusted with an ancient staff which transports him to a magical world where the mystical kung fu characters of his movies are real. The Forbidden Kingdom is a throwback to the wish fulfilment fantasies of the 1980s, sharing a lot in common with the likes of The Karate Kid, Big Trouble In Little China and even Indiana Jones. Making the hero of the film an American will no doubt irritate many and he is certainly the least interesting character in the film, but he is for the most part a figure of fun in the same way as Jack Burton was in Big Trouble. Jet Li strikes up a great buddy partnership with Jackie Chan who revives his Drunken Master routine, and their face off is impressive as you'd expect. And having grown up on cheesy 70s TV show Monkey, I'd have to say that he makes a brilliant Monkey King; I'd go as far as to say that I'd love to see a film version with him in the role. I would have to say that it is inevitably very formulaic and Yefei Liu's superfluous character only seems to be there to make sure that there's an even distribution of hotties. As a whole it's a funny, exciting family friendly fantasy with a knockabout charm that is clearly pandering to the Pirates Of The Shaolin crowd. But it works. Corny in an almost pleasing way and probably the best thing Jackie Chan has done since he first started bending over for the Hollywood buck, hating this film for the "homogenization of Chinese culture" is basically like calling Mr. Miyagi an evil traitorous sell out. Completely missing the point.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

There are kid movies, and then there are kid movies, and this is one of the good ones. Make no mistake, Jackie Chan and Jet Li are the reasons to see this (doh!), their choreographic dramas flights of sheer acrobatic fantasy. I was smiling despite my years of superior cynical removal, a kid again, wishing I could do that. There's bad writing, sure, and you will groan out loud at some. But most every conversation leads to a fight scene so ... Some magic.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

The Forbidden Kingdom Quotes

The Monkey King/the Silent Monk: But do not name it my friend, for it's like water; nothing can overcome water, yet it can overcome rock. It does not fight; it moves around the opponent, boneless, nameless. The true master dwells within. Only you can be free.
– Submitted by Typhon Q (3 years ago)
Old Hop/Lu Yan: Praying Mantis! Very good... for catching bugs! But not Tiger!
– Submitted by Geraldo G (4 years ago)

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