An American teenager who is obsessed with Hong Kong cinema and kung-fu classics makes an extraordinary discovery in a Chinatown pawnshop: the legendary stick weapon of the Chinese sage and warrior, the Monkey King. With the lost relic in hand, the teenager unexpectedly finds himself traveling back to ancient China to join a crew of warriors from martial arts lore on a dangerous quest to free the imprisoned Monkey King. Written by
Jet Li. Jackie Chan. Jackie Chan and Jet Li! For many people that is all that is needed to elicit a "wow, I need to see that." Beyond star power, the film is a riveting success. This is a kung-fu film with a healthy sense of humor, an epic story and amazing visual imagery. Some people will object to Michael Angarano's character, they will say, the film doesn't need a white lead to keep the audience engaged. That is true, but Angarano plays the role well and the character adds substance to the story. The cultural conflict from thrusting a boy from Boston into ancient China reflects the conflict between his kung-fu masters. His personal growth helps carry the heroes journey through China. This layering of themes works well.
Did I mention that we get to see Jackie Chan and Jet Li spar!?!
I got to see a preview of this movie and I consider my self very lucky. I will go see this film again on opening day!
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