THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM
RELEASE DATE: 4/18/08
The Story: Jason (Michael Angarano) a kung-fu movie fanatic finds himself in the Forbidden Kingdom tasked with returning the Monkey King’s staff and ending the tyrannical rule of the Jade Warlord. He has his two teachers the drunken master (Jackie Chan) and the monk (Jet Li), and Sparrow, a young woman whose past is tied to the Jade Warlord. If you are at all interested in this movie, you’re going to enjoy it. If you like Jackie Chan or you like martial arts movies, you’ll like it. If you go into this movie with your brain turned off, or wanting to be distracted and entertained, you’ll like it. If you want to see something that is clever or original, you’ll be disappointed.
This movie follows such a similar plot and has such knock-off images to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers, Curse of the Golden Flower and any number of actual Hong Kong films (some they even reference in the opening portion of the movie **cough-cough-bride-with-white-hair-cough-cough**)that I spent half the time trying to think of where I’d seen it before. The one thing that wasn’t clichéd about it was that while the white guy was the main character of the story, he wasn’t the hero; it wasn’t about the white guy saving the poor ethnic folk who can’t save themselves. What I did like about it was that it was funny. Jackie Chan nails every punchline, which means that when he’s on screen you’ll be entertained. And he’s still got it athletics-wise even though he’ll be turning 54 this year. He can definitely still hold his own against Jet Li (who despite being younger looks a little rough). Michael Angarano looks like Shia LaBeouf to me, but seems like less of a douchebag. And there really wasn’t much for him to do here. Personally I hope he gets all the good roles that Shia passes on, because unfortunately that’s his lot in life.
What it’s worth: I’m always honest with you guys. If I’d paid full price, I would’ve been a little disappointed. The set budget must have been scant because most scenes look like they were shot on a soundstage with the leftover foam rocks from the original series of Star Trek. This would’ve been a fun rainy afternoon at the cheapy theater, or given the rest of the stuff out there right now, a fun rainy afternoon matinee. I’ll put it at $4.50. If I’d missed a warm sunny day for this, I would’ve felt gypped. It’ll be a good rental, too.
What’s out there right now that’s worth your money:
Drama: I really enjoyed Stop-Loss, but it bummed me out.
Comedy: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (I haven’t seen Leatherheads yet. And I would rather read or watch Wonder Boys again instead of seeing Smart People)
Horror: rent something, The Ruins is the best of what’s out there now, and I felt unsatisfied after paying matinee price. (I haven’t seen nor will I see Prom Night; Shutter was horrible
Action: I liked The Bank Job but I have a soft spot for Jason Statham. Well… not soft anymore after thinking about him…
This Week’s Openers:
Forgetting Sarah Marshall – blankprincess posted this review in the comments of random photos last week. “I LOVE all the pictures of the folks from "Forgetting Sarah Marshall!" I was lucky enough to see a free screening of this movie a few weeks ago and I honestly have not laughed so hard in years. I've toyed with writing a review for y'all a la the great dnfrommn, but I haven't had the time. In short, I went to see the movie because I loved “Veronica Mars” and will now watch Kristen Bell in anything, and she was a great sport in the movie. However, Russell Brand was hiLARious, Jason Segel displayed talents (and quite a bit of full frontal...) that I never imagined he had, the supporting characters were terrific (particularly Paul Rudd, Jack McBrayer [Kenneth from "30 Rock"], and a few lovely Hawaiian men) and Mila Kunis was an absolute revelation. This movie is beautiful, sweet, unconventional, so so so funny, and a guaranteed great time for virtually anyone. The vampire puppet musical was priceless, and just that phrase alone should make you want to see this flick. I can’t tell you enough how much I enjoyed it. I am a 36 year old woman who took my 63 year old girlfriend with me, and we both loved it. The audience was really diverse (I guess because the screening was free!) and so not everyone got all of the pop culture references, but most people there seemed to have a really awesome time. Please go see this movie (and no, I am not affiliated with the filmmakers in any way…). It was the funniest thing I’ve seen in such a long time and I hope it does really well. Thanks for reading my little treatise here! :)”
The Forbidden Kingdom - above
88 Minutes – I love Al Pacino, so I’ll probably see it to see how much scenery chewing he’ll do. Probably won’t pay full price though.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM