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The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)

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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.

Director:

Rob Minkoff

Writer:

John Fusco
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3,701 ( 292)
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jet Li ... The Monkey King / The Silent Monk
Michael Angarano ... Jason Tripitikas
Jackie Chan ... Lu Yan / Old Hop
Juana Collignon Juana Collignon ... Southie Girl
Morgan Benoit ... Lupo
Jack Posobiec Jack Posobiec ... Southie
Thomas McDonell ... Young Southie
Zhi Ma Gui Zhi Ma Gui ... Old Woman
Shen Shou He Shen Shou He ... Farmer
Bin Jiang Bin Jiang ... Young Village Man
Shaohua Yang Shaohua Yang ... Jade Soldier
Yu Yuan Zeng Yu Yuan Zeng ... Inn Keeper
Deshun Wang Deshun Wang ... Jade Emperor
XiaoLi Liu XiaoLi Liu ... Queen Mother
Collin Chou ... Jade Warlord
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | China

Language:

English | Mandarin

Release Date:

18 April 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jackie Chan/Jet Li Project See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,401,121, 20 April 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$52,075,270

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$127,980,002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie went through five script re-writes before it was completed, many of which were done in the middle of filming. See more »

Goofs

When Jason picks up the jade hairpin dagger, he places it between his thumb and Golden Sparrow's thumb and they clasp hands together in a 'bro-shake'. Immediately afterward her thumb disappears from his and and he is holding the jade hairpin dagger in only his hand, with her hand wrapped around his. See more »

Quotes

[the Jade Warlord tricks the Monkey King into becoming a statue]
Jade Warlord: Martial art is based on deception, my friend.
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

References Batman Begins (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Shepherd Girl
Traditional
Arranged by Cheng Yu
Performed by Cheng Yu
Courtesy of Extreme Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The Forbidden Kingdom - Great mix of action, comedy and a coming of age story.
18 April 2008 | by lbk99-geoSee 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.


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