The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)

ROB MINKOFF

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB

USA/China/Australia/South Korea, 2008.  Casey Silver Productions, , Huayi Brothers Media, Relativity Media.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Yet another Hollywood invasion into the world of Asian Martial Arts films, using a dull story as an excuse to get people fighting in highly stylized ways.  plays a bullied teenager whose escape is kung fu movies, which he buys cheaply from a sweet old man in New York’s Chinatown ( in heavy makeup). After a group of bullies force him to rob the old man’s store, Angarano ends up in possession of a magical spear that transports him to ancient China, where he now teams up with a young Chan to return the item to its rightful, magically imprisoned owner.  co-stars in this boring film whose fight scenes rely so heavily on special effects that it downplays the magnificence of his and Chan’s actual physical abilities. Rob Minkoff is looking to create a modern day Wizard Of Oz, but his touch is heavy-handed and the pace is sluggish, plus Angarano’s character is far too slim to be sympathetic. Only really young kids will make it to the end.

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