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The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 78,583 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 275 user | 197 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

A discovery made by a kung fu obsessed American teen sends him on an adventure to China, where he joins up with a band of martial arts warriors in order to free the imprisoned Monkey King.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Juana Collignon ...
Southie Girl
...
Jack Posobiec ...
...
Zhi Ma Gui ...
Old Woman
Shen Shou He ...
Farmer
Bin Jiang ...
Young Village Man
Shaohua Yang ...
Jade Soldier
Yu Yuan Zeng ...
Inn Keeper
Deshun Wang ...
XiaoLi Liu ...
...
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The path is unsafe. The place is unknown. The journey is unbelievable. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sequences of martial arts action and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

18 April 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jackie Chan/Jet Li Project  »

Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£676,217 (UK) (11 July 2008)

Gross:

£1,215,459 (UK) (18 July 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| | |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The characters are mostly taken from Chinese mythology and adventure pulps.
  • Lu Yan is a famous Taoist Saint (He's better known as Lü Dongbin, one of the Eight Immortals referenced in Jackie Chan's Drunken Master films).


  • The Jade Emperor is the ruler of the Heavens in Chinese myth.


  • The Monkey King is from a 16th Century fantasy epic by Wu Cheng En.


  • Golden Sparrow was the name of the character played by Cheng Pei Pei in a number of Shaw Bros films like Come Drink with Me (1966).


  • The White Haired Demoness is the anti-heroine of a pulp novel by Liang Yusheng (filmed twice) with the same title.


See more »

Goofs

In the fight between The Monk and Jade Warlord, Warlord cuts Monks shoulder with pole-arm and his robe is getting soaked in blood. Camera changes, and there is no cut or blood. Later on, it is visible again. See more »

Quotes

Jason Tripitikas: [seeing guards approaching] What do we do now?
Lu Yan: How good is your Gung-fu?
[Jason stares at Lu Yan]
Lu Yan: He who speaks, does not know; He who knows, does not speak. Surely you're masterful.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Jackie Chan and Jet Li are credited together before the title. Jackie Chan's name is spelled out horizontally, but Jet Li's is spelled out vertically, and the same "J" is used for both. See more »

Connections

Version of Xi you ji (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Deng Zhe Ni Hui Lai
("Waiting 4 U")
Written by Yan Kuan
Performed by Bai Kwong
©EMI Music Publishing Hong Kong
avec l'autorisation d'EMI Music Publishing France
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Forbidden Kingdom - Great mix of action, comedy and a coming of age story.
18 April 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Forbidden Kingdom starts in a way that is similar to The Karate Kid, with Jason (Michael Angarano), the boy new to his local high school who loves kung fu movies, but is helpless to defend himself against the neighborhood bullies. These same bullies force him to help them into a pawn shop whose owner is shot but still passes on a mysterious staff to Jason. The staff turns out to be that of the legendary Monkey King and Jason is transported into ancient China where he journeys to use the staff to free the imprisoned Monkey King. In the end Jason must prove himself as he faces both fantastical and real life foes.

Once in China Jason acquires several companions; Lu Yan (Jackie Chan) a wine drinking kung fu master, Golden Sparrow (Yifei Liu) a vengeance driven young women and later a monk (Jet Li) who protect him and later train him in the art of kung fu. Together they journey to Five Elements Mountain to attempt to free the Monkey King and end the reign of the evil Jade Warlord (Collin Chou) who sends innumerable troops to stop them.

This movie works on many levels, none too deep, but very satisfying none the less. First of all it is a great action movie with very well done kung fu action scenes involving Jackie Chan and Jet Li, two of the greatest kung fu movie stars in the past couple of decades. In the midst of all of this is a great deal of fairly well done comedy, sometimes not perfectly executed, but generally fun, especially during the kung fu training of Jason. Last but not least this is a classic coming of age story in which Jason journeys from being a boy who fantasizes of adventure to a young man who can fight and suffer for what is right.

This is a fantasy based movie, so expect some magical displays and references to immortal beings, but this is not too heavily done so the story is fairly easy to follow. Refreshingly the movie has relatively little in the way of moral ambiguity, with villains that are really evil and those who oppose them being flawed humans but still striving to that which is right.

In regards to the appropriateness of the movie for varied audiences, the violence in this PG-13 rated movie is never graphic, though possibly disturbing for young children. There is no sexual content with the exception of an implied impending assault by the Jade Warlord (we see nothing actually happening here). I saw the movie in a pre-screening with mostly college students whose applause and laughs made it clear they enjoyed it, but I am quite a bit past college and found it just as enjoyable.

One last comment, while virtually all of the dialogue between main characters is in English, there is a fair amount of Mandarin Chinese being spoken during the movie. In the few instances when knowing the content of this is important there are English subtitles and I did not find the un-translated portions to be an issue.

Overall this is a movie that is exciting, fun and generally very satisfying to watch.


83 of 134 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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