Sunday, April 27, 2008

When Two Chinese Action Actors Collaborate...

It has been a long time since I have blogged here...

I have returned and starting from now I will bring to you synopsis of the media world around us!!

Chapter 1: Forbidden Kingdom - the path is unsafe, the place is unknown, the journey is unbelievable

Through the Drunken Master tetralogy and The One we have recognized the adroit martial artist who is short, yet swift - Jet Li. And through Police Story trilogy, Medallion, and Rush Hour we have witness the humorous and robust Jackie Chan, who is well known for its non-stunt man actions. Those two have their own debut which lead them to fame and glory, but have you ever seen them act together? The Forbidden Kingdom gives you the answer!

The Forbidden Kingdom
is about Jason Tripitikas, a kungfu-obsessed American teen who embarked a journey to China. With the help of martial artists warriors (Jackie Chan) he is on a mission to emancipate the Monkey King (Jet Li). Throughout the journey, Jason learns that kungfu is not as epic as it is described in comic books nor video games.

As a whole, this movie imbues perfection in terms of story line and visualization of scenes. This is because the setting has captured the audience's attention and brought them to a typical yet thrilling world of kungfu. Such achievement is also supported with the choice of casts and their position within the storyline. Jackie Chan gives the humorous ambiance along with his symbolical martial art style - a drunken master. Jet Li provides the exhilaration of action movies with his originality of kungfu. It is enjoyable to see how Jackie Chan's carefree attitude collides with Jet Li's serious nature. Not only they create a must-watch fighting scenes and humor, but there are times when they send a word of wisdom to the audience - typical Chinese movies.

However, the portrayal of a perfect Chinese action movie is disillusioning, to some people, because of a Western cast as the main character. Jason Tripitikas, played by Michael Angarano (Sky High), caused the story to mostly revolve around his naiveness; resulting a minimized action scenes. However, other viewers might see this as a reminiscences of old American martial art movies due to his facial resemblance to past's actors. It's all about perspective.

Rumor had said that Jackie Chen was first displeased with the script. Maybe it is because the storyline is distorted by Western movie cultures.

The fact that it is make to be watched by everyone caused the nonexistence of gore killing scenes. Yet, several swear words are said, possibly to give the antagonistic feeling. The Forbidden Kingdom labeled as PG-13.

The type of jokes in this movie are classic Jackie Chan jokes: twisting other character's sentences and playing around with his enemy during battles. Jet Li also displays his wittiness as the Monkey King. The funniest scene in this movie, for me, is when Jackie Chen tries to summon rain but what sprinkles him is not rain but Jet Li's urine :)

"Jason Tripitikas: He needs wine. It's his elixir.
Medicine Monk: We will send a walking monk.
Lu Yan (Jackie Chan): Can't you send a running monk?

Although this movie possesses a Western movie cliche, it did not hide the amazing collaboration of Jackie Chan and Jet Li but make the most out of it instead. What is disappointing is the cut (or badly edited) scenes. The anti-climax is also very brief and cliche as well. But nonetheless, it is a recommendable movie to those Jackie Chan and Jet Li lovers. But don't set a high expectation when watching it! I would rate this movie 8 / 10...

No comments: