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Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Forbidden Kingdom

This cold got a bigger bite out of me than I expected.

Friday, I gave up and went to the doctor when it became too painful to swallow. Too smart, too late. What I thought was a cold turned out to be a bad case of bronchitis. I might have been well by now if I had gone to the doctor right away.

Enough about that. Let's do another mini movie review.

*****

The Forbidden Kingdom was a fun movie. It stars Jet Li and Jackie Chan in enormously engaging dual roles. The fight scenes were exquisite and didn't run overly long. They were just enough to showcase the fighters without wearing out their welcome.

This is a little time travel movie where a kung fu-obsessed teenager is thrown back to ancient China with a 'bo', a relic that can release the imprisoned Monkey King (Jet Li). He is aided by a beautiful young girl, Golden Sparrow (Yifei Lui) and a drunken martial arts master, Lu Yan (Jackie Chan).

I am in awe to watch people so skilled in the martial arts. It's a true ballet of strength, stamina and balance. But I was equally impressed that there was a good story as well. Jackie Chan was his usual comedic self, playing the drunken fool expertly. Yifei Lui was sublime as the fragile looking, yet lethal female fighter. Jet Li probably surprised me most of all. Who knew he could smile? He was terrific.

The teenager, (Michael Angarano) the sole non-Asian lead was believable and sweet. He was a little overshadowed by the much bigger personalities, but not so much that you didn't enjoy him.

Fine for rental or for date night. Either way, add this to your list if you want to watch a fun fantasy movie.

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