The Forbidden Kingdom (12A)
Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Wed Jul 9 2008The ’80s action fantasy may be long dead, but nobody told the folks behind ‘The Forbidden Kingdom’. Slavishly following rules laid down in such films as ‘The Karate Kid’, the film tells the story of softhearted Boston street punk and kung-fu fanatic Jason Tripitakas (Michael Angarano), who finds a magic staff and is transported to a mystical land populated by figures from Chinese mythology.
Nostalgia aside, there’s not a lot to love in ‘The Forbidden Kingdom’. Director Rob ‘The Haunted Mansion’ Minkoff keeps things visually flat and uninspired. Angarano, an emotional vacuum as an actor, is a singularly unappealing lead. But this won’t make a jot of difference to the film’s target audience of pre-teens eager to catch the first on-screen pairing of legends Jackie Chan and Jet Li. And this, luckily, is the film’s one strength: their interaction is likeably goofy, and when the fists start flying it’s easy to forget the film’s flaws and enjoy the simple pugilistic pleasures of the Jet & Jackie show.
Author: Tom Huddleston