The Forbidden Kingdom, starring action superstars Jackie Chan and Jet Li, has topped the North American box office over the weekend. The Chinese-American film managed to haul in US$20.9 million in ticket sales (according to studio estimates) from Friday to Sunday in US and Canadian theatres.
This is the first film collaboration between the two big names, it obviously created plenty of buzz. Besides the duo, the movie also stars Collin Chou, Liu Yifei, Li Bingbing, and Michael Angarano. Directed by Rob Minkoff who’s best known for making The Lion King. Check out the official trailer…
Time travelling and Kung fu
The Forbidden Kingdom is about a young American who miraculously travels back to time to ancient China. There he meets with two masters of martial arts and a pretty girl. He then learns some kung fu and joins the quest to free the Monkey King and save the world. A bit more about the plot below…
Jason meets with Lu Yan (Jackie Chan) who tells him the story about the Monkey King who’s transformed into a stone statue by the evil Jade Emperor (Collin Chou). Lu also speaks of a prophecy, that a “seeker” with a golden staff will appear and rescue the King – obviously hinting at Jason.
The two begin their quest and meet Golden Sparrow (Liu Yifei) and Silent Monk (Jet Li) along the way. They have their own agenda but share a common enemy, the Jade Warlord.
While the group tries to teach Jason some Kung fu to make him more useful, the warlord sends Ni-Chang (Li Bingbing), a powerful witch and assassin, to retrieve the staff…
I’m going to leave the story here, otherwise it’s going to become a big spoiler. The film features elements from classic novel Journey to the West, and the characters of Golden Sparrow and Ni-Chang are inspired by other works too. The storyline is not related to any of those though.
Update and verdict
I watched the movie a couple of weeks later, it’s actually decent, better than I expected. The film also topped the box office in most Asian countries in the first few weeks, which is no no surprise at all.
Two main flaws tough. The films uses too much CGI, which unfortunately seems to be the norm these days. And despite starring Jackie Chan and Jet Li, Michael Angarano is the main character instead.
Nothing against Angarano, he did fine. Just felt that it’s a bit of waste featuring two Asian superstars in the same movie but created so few “sparks” in between. The trailer above pretty much shows everything the duo has done together in the film LoL.