Forbidden Kingdom (2-Disc Special Edition)

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Product Overview

Individually, they've starred in the most adrenaline-pumping martial-arts adventures ever. Together for the first time, Jet Li and Jackie Chan join forces to create the greatest epic of them all - The Forbidden Kingdom. As ancient Chinese warriors, they must train and mentor a 21st century kung-fu fanatic who's been summoned to fight a centuries-old battle and free the imprisoned Monkey King. If you're a fighting fan, the wait is over. The team is ready. The Kingdom has arrived.


Studio Lions Gate
SKU 208290025
UPC 031398101109
UPC 14 00031398101109
Format DVD
Release Date 4/5/2011
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  2.35:1
Review Is it possible to recommend a movie based on a single scene alone? If it's The Forbidden Kingdom, the answer is an obvious "yes." This long-awaited pairing of Hong Kong action giants Jackie Chan and Jet Li is a scattershot combination of Eastern promise and Western gobbledygook. It's so '80s Hollywood it should have standing reservations at Morton's. Yet thanks to a wicked wire-fu confrontation between the aging action icons and some additional high flying fisticuffs, we gladly suffer the uneven casting and mangled mythology...Let's end the suspense, shall we, and get to the part where Chan and Li strap it on. Like all quality professionals, they take the insane fight choreography from Crouching Tiger and The Matrix and transform it into an athletic ballet. Their big battle--a standoff between grace (Chan) and gravitas (Li)--is a sight to behold. It's everything you'd ever want in a one-on-one face-off: close calls, unbelievable acrobatics, carefully constructed (and landed) combinations, and a sense that both men are enjoying the hell out of the experience. If all of The Forbidden Kingdom had been this electrifying, we'd have a Western-made modern classic on our hands...Luckily, the Eastern element of the production saves enough filmic face to keep us interested.
Reviewer Bill Gibron
ReviewRating 7
ReviewSource The Village Voice
Review The plot is pure choose-your-own-adventure: A bullied wuxia fanboy from South Boston (Michael Angarano) is teleported back into a LARP fantasia of feudal China, where he's singled out as the long-anticipated "Chosen One" prophesied to topple the despotic warlord. Our nominal hero then recedes behind the two Mr. Miyagis who adopt him: a Lisa Bonet-bewigged Jackie Chan and warrior-monk Jet Li (English line readings: 75 percent intelligible). This is the first collaboration between kung fu's Astaire and Kelly, and, as that, it disappoints. Like so much here, the fight arrangements by choreographer Yuen Woo-ping aren't so much bad as undistinguished: The camera placement is off, the tempo unvaried, and Chan's movements are obscured by his piled-on robes. The cinematography lacks storybook indelibility; Collin Chou's Jade Emperor is a stock archvillain (though Li Bingbing's bullwhip-toting "White Haired Demoness," announced with apocalyptic reverb, is lovely) . . . and then there's the scene where Li actually pisses in Chan's face--a degradation familiar to viewers incensed by the demographic-outreach casting of white-dude Angarano. Taken as a whole, though, it's an amiable lost-and-found of epic-adventure tropes. As I still illogically treasure Willow, many a 10-year-old who sees Forbidden Kingdom will remember it fondly in spite of its flaws.
Reviewer Nick Pinkerton
ReviewRating 7
DVD, Widescreen, English, Subtitled, Spanish, Dolby Digital (5.1)
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
A.O. Scott, The New York Times A faithful and disarmingly earnest attempt to honor some venerable and popular Chinese cinematic traditions.
David Edelstein, New York Magazine ...great fun, with a good balance between computer effects and athleticism.
James Berardinelli's ReelViews ...may be the best fantasy story since the genre was opened to a wider audience by "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."
Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide To see the two of them on screen together, even past their primes, is a delight.
Mike Sargent, WBAI Radio ...the best martial arts epic ever made!
Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald ...a great, heaping, overflowing helping of fun. If you're 10, it may also seem like "Citizen Kane."
Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer The result is joyous and exhilarating.

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