11 March, 2008

The Forbidden Kingdom

Okay, I have to confess: I enjoy martial arts movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Fearless, Hero, House of Flying Daggers,etc. I'll even occasionally watch the ones that come on late at night and feature such awful acting and even worse voice dubbing. I'm not sure why I enjoy them. I am something of an asiatophile, but I suspect it's more to do with the action as I enjoy the Westernized versions of such films as well (Blade, The Matrix, Underworld, etc).

So I'm pleased to see a new movie coming out April 18 that features both Jet Li and Jackie Chan, two of the biggest names in the more common branch of the genre (what we see in the West): The Forbidden Kingdom. The plot involves an American student Jason Tripitakas* (Michael Angarano) looking for bootleg Kung-fu DVDs in Chinatown. Instead he finds an ancient weapon belonging to a great sage and warrior, the "Monkey King" (Jet Li). Through the power of this talisman he is sent back in time to ancient China where he finds that he must free the Monkey King who has been imprisoned by the evil Jade War Lord (Collin Chou). In this quest he is joined by the Kung-fu master Lu Yan (Jackie Chan) and Silent Monk (also played by Jet Li as either a different character of the Monkey King in disguise; not sure which) who will together teach Jason the true secret of Kung-fu so that he can defeat Jade War Lord and find his way home.

Okay, sounds a little hokey...well, maybe more than a little hokey. But still, Jackie Chan AND Jet Li? I mean, c'mon!

Anyway, the trailer looks good. You can watch at the film's website or on YouTube.

*Little bit of interesting trivia: the American student's last name, Tripitakas, is a play on the name of the Buddhist scripture, the Tripitaka (also known as the Pāli canon).

No comments: