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The Forbidden Kingdom Review

The Forbidden Kingdom Poster

I think this movie is likely to generate different reviews from two different sets of viewers: viewers who take this movie as a shallow entertainment and viewers who expect a movie with depth and novelty. I am reviewing this movie from the latter, a Chinese viewer who is familiar with the original novel Journey to the West. Of course, if one judges this movie from the standpoint of the first set of viewers, I think the review is probably positive. We can simply disregard the fact that the plot of the movie is completely different from the original novel. It simply borrowed pieces from the novel and invented a story of its own. We can also ignore the fact why some characters in the movie are not able to understand Jason, while all the main characters miraculously became bilingual the moment they met Jason. However, I do not want to be too harsh on this part of the movie, after all the characters need to communicate with each other, so let’s just consider that in a fantasy world anything is possible.

Furthermore, all the characters felt dull and disconnected. Most importantly, they were never able to establish a strong chemistry between them. They felt like puppets of the director, just bumped into each other and each played their role accordingly. They were not convincing, and they definitely did not establish the bridge with the audience.

However, I can sort of see that this can be an entertaining movie for kids, or for those who are fascinated with Chinese martial arts. There are a lot of fancy fightings in the movie. For me, I wish I could just watch the part where Jet Li fights with Jackie Chan, and then simply skip the rest so I can do something else with the time.

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