Thursday, July 17, 2008

THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM - Jackie & Jet party like it's 1989

It's a strange year at the cinema - what with new Indiana Jones, Batman and Bond movies, alongside a Ghostbusters reunion in video game form. It almost seems like 1989 all over again.

However, the only film that has really taken me back to the sort of empty-headed but ultimately joyous fare I lapped up as a young whipper-snapper in the 80s is the long awaited Jackie Chan / Jet Li kung fu combo The Forbidden Kingdom. Despite looking sharp and of 21st century standard, for some strange reason it just feels like an 80s movie - a Gremlins, Goonies or Back to the Future type of movie.

Early trails didn't exactly look promising, and the more I saw of the white-bread geek-chic lead actor the more worried I got. Therefore it came as a pleasant surprise that after an almost unbelievably weak (but thankfully quick) set up the movie shifted in gear and entertained from there on in. It's exactly the type of "they-don't-make-them-like-this-anymore" family-orientated epic that Indiana Jones & the Crystal Skull struggled to be.

Make no mistake - this is chop-sockey cinema at it's most lightweight - but with impressive production design, lovely locations, above-average fight scenes and best of all, Chan in Drunken Master mode, giving his finest performance yet in an American made film. Chan looks as if he's genuinely having fun, and his warmth is infectious, making the Forbidden Kingdom extremely likable escapist entertainment.

All in all it's a Martial Artists-on-a-mission movie I could happily take my nephew to see, safe in the knowledge he'd be kung-fuing all manner of inanimate objects for the rest of the day. Considering I've seen enough head-busting kung fu movies in my time that I wouldn't let him anywhere near just yet, what could be better than that?


Post a Comment

<< Home