DIR: Rob Minkoff • WRI: John Fusco • PRO: Scott Fischer Casey Silver• DOP: Peter Pau• ED: Eric Strand • DES: Bill Brzeski • CAST: Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Michael Angarano, Yifei Liu, Morgan Benoit, Bing Bing Li, Collin Chou
It’s always refreshing to see a different type of film enter the cinemas and it has been years since a martial arts film has graced us with its presence.
Forbidden Kingdom sends a kung fu-obsessed teen, Jason Tripitikas (Michael Angarano), on the adventure of his life when he finds the antique Chinese staff of the sage warrior, the Monkey King. Jason is transported back to ancient China where he meets a drunken kung fu master, a monk and a skilled, orphaned beauty by the name of Golden Sparrow.
The land is under oppression so together the three must embark on a journey to return the staff to the Monkey King, who for the past five hundred years has been imprisoned in stone by the evil Jade Warlord.
Jason must not only defeat the efforts of the Jade Warlord but also overcome his own self-doubt and free himself by learning the true way of kung fu, which is not just what he’s seen in the movies.
A classic kung fu story about loyalty and friendship, Forbidden Kingdom has something for everyone: exciting fight scenes, a humour-packed plot and some loveable characters. Not the cleverest of plots at times but it does the job of entertaining an audience and wouldn’t be a bad way to while away a lovely Irish summer.