The Forbidden Kingdom - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Forbidden Kingdom Reviews

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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
November 24, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
April 21, 2008
One of the more entertaining movies we've seen in recent months.
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David Fear
Time Out
April 18, 2008
Every time the focus switches to Michael Angarano channeling his inner Ralph Macchio, The Forbidden Kingdom reminds you that it's primarily an act of occidental tourism.
| Original Score: 3/6
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Mark Rahner
Seattle Times
April 18, 2008
It might take a Zen master to explain exactly what audience this is aimed at.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
April 18, 2008
It's difficult to resist, especially if you're a 12-year-old boy whose parents won't let you rent Once Upon a Time in China or the Kill Bill movies.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
April 18, 2008
When Chan and Li match wits, each celebrates the other's presence. This isn't just a martial-arts display; it's generosity and camaraderie in motion.
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
April 18, 2008
Thanks to the two stars' disparate styles - the laser-like focus of Li and the whirlwind whimsy of Chan - The Forbidden Kingdom makes up for its flaws with plenty of eye-popping moments.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
April 18, 2008
Chan seems to be having fun in a comic part that, unlike his Rush Hour paydays, doesn't make him the butt of ethnic jokes. Li is as stalwart as ever.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
April 18, 2008
Forbidden Kingdom is chop-socky bordering on chop-schlocky, but it's good-natured myth-making cut into kid-size pieces.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
April 18, 2008
While the script is corny and the direction uneven, [Chan and Li] never falter.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
April 18, 2008
Unfailingly lighthearted, the film's fight scenes are stylized, soaring wire work and gravity-defying digital sorcery rather than blood-and-bruises beatdowns.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
April 18, 2008
The Forbidden Kingdom may be nothing but disposable fun, but it is a great, heaping, overflowing helping of fun. If you're 10, it may also seem like Citizen Kane.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
April 18, 2008
The filmmakers come off like their protagonist, wide-eyed tourists in an exotic realm. If you've been looking for a martial arts film to take granny and the kids to, this might be the one, but a Jackie Chan-Jet Li collaboration deserves better than that.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
April 18, 2008
Forbidden Kingdom is a faithful and disarmingly earnest attempt to honor some venerable and popular Chinese cinematic traditions.
| Original Score: 3/5
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
April 18, 2008
A sufficiently entertaining diversion.
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
April 18, 2008
The Forbidden Kingdom...offers the first-ever on-screen pairing of martial-arts legends Jackie Chan and Jet Li, but it's a bit of a bait-and-switch. Both stars get plenty of screen time, yet their fight scenes feel routine.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
April 18, 2008
If you want to break the kids in easy to the whole martial arts thing, this may be the way to go. After all, clean fu never killed anyone.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
April 18, 2008
A number of Forbidden Kingdom sequences deliver muscular slaptick. A fight in which Lu Yan uses Jason as one more weapon in his arsenal of defensive moves is vintage Chan.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Tasha Robinson
Chicago Tribune
April 18, 2008
It's a long, eye-rolling haul...hampered by lurching exposition and hammy setup.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Joshua Katzman
Chicago Reader
April 18, 2008
Pairing Jackie Chan and Jet Li would seem like a slam dunk, but this big-budget martial arts drama, which borrows liberally from The Wizard of Oz, is something of a disappointment.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
April 18, 2008
This is the long-awaited teaming of superstars Jackie Chan and Jet Li, and it's an occasion to applaud for those who like a few yuks with their kicks.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Eric D. Snider
Film.com
April 17, 2008
Part of the charm, yes, is the goofiness of it all -- but the film would have been better if it were more cohesive, streamlined, and focused.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
April 17, 2008
At best, The Forbidden Kingdom counts as an amiable time-waster for kids, but much more should be expected from the momentous union of two kung-fu titans.
| Original Score: C
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Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly
April 17, 2008
Silly and satisfying, The Forbidden Kingdom is a juggernaut of beloved movie tropes complete with pumping-up montage of knuckle pushups.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
April 17, 2008
The Forbidden Kingdom is for those who like plenty of kung fu action with an epic fantasy setting and a little humor thrown in. When all is said and done, the dream team combination of Chan and Li is just a nice bonus.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
April 17, 2008
You know you're in a fantasy movie when the central character has to traverse time in search of the 'Monkey King.' If only you were in a good movie.
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Adam Markovitz
Entertainment Weekly
April 17, 2008
The worst part of the martial-arts epic The Forbidden Kingdom [is] a moment near the halfway mark when there arrives a gag that involves Chan getting a face full of urine. This kingdom really should be forbidden.
Full Review | Original Score: D
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Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic
April 17, 2008
If you're in touch with your inner 12-year-old, don't be surprised if you find yourself smiling and cheering during the film's final scenes.
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
April 17, 2008
Every fight is more spectacular than the one before, and there's just enough of the playfulness of Chan's best brawls (this is more violent) to keep The Forbidden Kingdom laugh-out-loud light.
| Original Score: 3/5
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Stephen Farber
Hollywood Reporter
April 16, 2008
The fight scenes are fun, but the filler in between is deadlier than one of Li's lethal kicks.
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Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
April 16, 2008
This is the first collaboration between kung fu's Astaire and Kelly, and, as that, it disappoints.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
April 14, 2008
Once past the clunky prologue, the film is great fun, with a good balance between computer effects and athleticism.
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Dennis Harvey
Variety
April 10, 2008
While top-billed duo do indeed occupy plenty of screen time, this is basically the latest version of that post-Star Wars fantasy concept in which only a middle-class white teenage boy can save the universe from, y'know, Evil.