Netflix Review: Forbidden Kingdom

We don't make it out to a lot of movies in the theaters these days, but with 400+ movies in my Netflix queue, I'll get to the blockbusters... eventually. So, here's the first of my "four-month-late" movie reviews.

Watched Forbidden Kingdom last night. I really wanted that movie to be good… But… it wasn’t.

Jackie Chan and Jet Li were good with the roles they were given. Lei Yifei and Li Bingbing (!) succeeded at filling their respective of “Hot innocent girl” and “Hot not-so-innocent woman in a fetching white wig”.

Visually, the move was very good, though, I think some of the sets looked a bit rushed.

The fight choreography was passable. It was exhilarating finally seeing Jackie vs. Jet, that fight wasn’t enough to justify this movie.

These were the high points of the movie, and they made much of this in the special features. Jackie and Jet, of course. But also the Director of Photography (Peter Pau) and Woo-ping Yuen as the fight choreographer (You may remember him as the fight director from The Matrix movies who, when asked to describe the actors’ abilities as fighters, when he got to Keanu Reeves, his diplomatic answer was: “He tries very hard.”).

The parts of the movie that turned my stomach were:

The kid from “South Boston”. Where did they find this nitwit?? Did they just run out of money hiring Jackie and Jet?

I was also going to bitch about the Boston setting, but then watched the extras and saw they had to recreate all those sets in China, where they were being built by set designers who had to research what dumpsters and trash cans look like and accidentally put up the electrical outlets in the walls sideways. So they did a passable job, I guess.

The big example of ass-dom had to be the screenwriter. This was a guy who came off as very conscious of his image. He clearly knows his shite when it comes to Chinese fables, but do I really want to watch a special of him practicing Kung Fu sets on an LA beach in a really goofy looking costume?

The answer, is no, I really didn't.

I really want them to try again. Give Woo-Ping another chance with these guys in Hong Kong, then we might see something that justifies the star power. It'll be campy, it'll be cheap, but it's gonna be amazing.

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