THT Talkies : Fantasy world of Kung fu masters
The Forbidden Kingdom
Cast: Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Liu Yifei, Michael Angarano, Collin Chou and Li Bing Bing
Director: Rob Minkoff
Showing at theatres
In case you are wondering what lies in the Forbidden Kingdom, it’s fun, adventure and some truly mindblowing action sequences in breathtaking landscapes. Based on one of the four great classic novels of Chinese literature, Journey to the West, the movie takes you on a trip to the land of Kung fu warriors and magical powers.
An American teenager Jason (Michael Angarano), who is obsessed with Chinese kung fu movies, finds a special shaft at a pawnshop. A certain mishaps hurtles him back in time to ancient China where he has to take the responsibility of returning the shaft to its right place. He meets Lu Yan, a drunkard Kung fu master, who tells him that with the shaft Jason has to free the legendary Monkey King who has been captured by the Jade Warlord (Collin Chou). This will also help him get back to his house in Boston. Thus, the two embark on a journey to free the Monkey King. They are joined by two more people, Silent Monk (Jet Li) and Sparrow (Liu Yi Fei). While Silent Monk is also in the quest to find the shaft, Sparrow wants to take revenge on the Jade Warlord. They meet various hurdles like the bounty hunter send by the Jade Warlord and also the difficult terrain that they have to cross in order to reach the palace where the Monkey King is captured. Along with this adventure Lu Yan and Silent Monk also have to teach Jason Kung fu.
Although it is the first time two superstars of Chinese movies — Jackie Chan and Jet Li — are sharing the screen space, both actors have done an excellent job without going overboard trying to out do each other (which often happens when two superstars act together in a movie thus hampering the movie). The two have perfect comic timing and commendable chemistry between them.
As always Chan is at his best playing the more funny and flamboyant character, while Li portrays the calm Monk and the mischievous Monkey King with perfection.
The highlight of the movie is the showdown between the two actors which is a must see for all the fans of Chinese Kung fu movies.
The story moves along smoothly without any unnecessary scenes and even those action sequences don’t make audience feel that the story has been held up.
The cinematography and special effects, which are the soul of the movie, have successfully created the fantasy ancient world where mortals and immortals live together.
All Chan fans know what to expect from his movies — captivating martial art stunts with a dash of good humour — and they wont be disappointed at all.