The Forbidden Kingdom - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Forbidden Kingdom Reviews

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Super Reviewer
May 11, 2008
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.
Super Reviewer
½ April 17, 2008
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.
Super Reviewer
April 23, 2008
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.
Super Reviewer
April 29, 2008
Hmmmm the usual curious mystic Honk Kong phooey chop sockey spiritual action flick based in the Orient. What can I looks lovely with beautiful green vistas and magical splashes of light and sorcery...but the story is the usual weird and wonderful mess which is kinda unoriginal and boring. Its the usual wizards, martial arts, magic and evil henchmen by the numbers haha

The heroes (Jackie and Jet) train and make a martial arts expert outta of useless 80's lookin American kid who somehow travels to another world of mystic wizards and monkey kings and of course..manages to save it no worries, surprise surprise hehe.

There's nothing special here a tall really, its all been seen before and is rather cliched. Chan and Li are good together for sure but they need to do something more original.
Super Reviewer
½ April 15, 2008
the first time i saw this film i was disappointed, the second time i saw it i fell in love with it. the film is beautiful, with amazing scenery, great cinematography, and fun characters. i was initially disappointed in the silliness of the film, but for some reason i embraced the siliness by the second time around. really good flick if you know what youre getting into. im now four viewings in and the film improves each time.
Super Reviewer
½ March 1, 2011
A cheesy and boring movie with no point at all to it. As the plot was stupid and felt like a chesy comedy, the action was lame and a copy of the genius movie Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. The makeup and production was okay I guiess, I can't neccessarly say it was bad. And by during the movie I fell asleep and woke up later and reversed it back to where I fell left off, then I almost fell asleep again, at 3:00 PM, thats how boring it was.
Super Reviewer
June 27, 2008
A bit ridiculous.
Movie Monster
Super Reviewer
August 16, 2010
Despite cool martial arts scenes, The Forbidden Kingdom is just a bit too silly to be a martial arts film. But Jackie Chan and Jet Li make a good team. If you decide to see it, only do so once.
Super Reviewer
½ August 14, 2010
I'm not totally sure why, but I really liked this a lot. It has a lot of great elements and feels like a more epic version of The Karate Kid. However, the main reason it's as cool as it is was due to the fact that it's Jackie Chan and Jet Li together. While the story is much more about Michael Angarano (who is great in it by the way), their chemistry together is the crown jewel. It's a beautiful looking, sometimes weird and always fun world. The fight scenes are great, the story is well done and not second rate and the characters are treated with the up most respect.
Super Reviewer
½ June 26, 2010
really fun movie. B+
Super Reviewer
½ December 5, 2009
Great fantasy movie with chan and li starring together for the first time.They are pretty fun to watch.Martial art and stunts are fantastic but maybe a little violent for younger viewers.And the whole movie was beautiful shot and some impressive visuals to show.Well worth a look.
Super Reviewer
April 14, 2008
Jet Li v Jackie Chan ...well for one scene at least. This is a great martial arts, fantasy film that seemed to not get a cinema release?! I find that very strange considering this is the first film to feature Chan and Li together. It has the same fight choreographer from The Matrix, Kill Bill and Crouching Tiger! The fights are truly awesome. Add some humour, a little adventure, good SFX and an all round good cast, makes for a great film. The start reminds me of some of the great fantasy films of my childhood like Never ending story. It's no coincidence that the old martial arts series Monkey is on the TV towards the start as this film has a similar feel to it as that. So if you like the sound of any of that check this out.
Super Reviewer
March 26, 2010
I love Jackie Chan :)
Super Reviewer
February 13, 2010
Decent for an English language martial-arts film, but flawed. I haven't seen Seraph in a movie since Matrix Reloaded.
Super Reviewer
½ December 4, 2009
Is it "Crouching Tiger"? Not close; but was it meant to be - that is the question.

What you have is a fairy tale, rift with cliche, but with enough humour and nice fight sequences to save the day (not to mention the sets and scenery are fabulous).

Chan is hilarious as the drunken master, deadpanning some very funny lines, while Jet Li is his stoic self in his monk incarnation, but shows a very playful side as the immortal Monkey King.

There's fu a plenty - just love the witch with the bullwhip and long white hair (which she also uses as a whip). The Jade king is suitably arrogant, and the Brooklyn kid plays the fish out of water rather well (and it's his growth that gives the film some reason).

Just remember going in - it's a fairy tale and written as such - all the moral messages are brazenly displayed - nothing subtle about it - and yet, for all that, it works.
Super Reviewer
½ October 6, 2009
Decent martial arts fantasy tail that is enjoyable without ever being hard work on the brain
Super Reviewer
August 5, 2009
Chan and Li should have teamed up for something more epic, something more serious. It's like if DeNiro and Pacino had teamed up for a family friendly crime comedy. At least The Forbidden Kingdom stays fairly true to many classic Kung-Fu films. Yes, it's lighter in tone and is too concerned with making the cool American teen the hero, but there's plenty of action and impressive choreography. Li is excellent in a double role, relishing his opportunity to play the Monkey King. Chan does his usual stuff and also doubles up as an old man in very bad make-up. Forbidden Kingdom is a great film for kids and young teens and they wont feel embarrassed for liking it, when they grow up.
Super Reviewer
August 2, 2009
this movie, whilst along the right track, was doomed from the get-go with it's choice of lead actor, a teen who has had no experience since a minor role in seabiscuit and a terrible lead in sky high.
Super Reviewer
½ June 20, 2009
A complete waste of time.
Super Reviewer
July 22, 2008
This film was ok really i mean jet li and jackie chan are masters of the martial arts so it was impressive and not a disappointment the storyline was ok but i was boring in places but i guess its qorth a watch!!
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