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The Forbidden Kingdom

Big screen fairy tale
By TOM MEEK  |  April 16, 2008
2.0 2.0 Stars
The Forbidden Kingdom

Hong Kong action stars Jackie Chan and Jet Li don’t stray too far from type in this big-screen fairy tale: Chan plays a drunken kung fu master and Li’s a stoic monk with lethal reflexes. What’s a stretch is the film’s “Boston” setting (Forbidden clearly was not shot in our fair city) and the Southie ruffians blessed with Brooklyn accents. The dweebish Jason (Michael Angarano) finds himself caught between bullies and a kindly old Chinese shop owner. Before you can say Karate Kid, Jason is transported through time to ancient China to get schooled by Chan and Li and deliver a golden staff to a Monkey King so he can battle an evil warlord. It’s total hooey, but slick-looking hooey. Director Rob Minkoff has Ang Lee and Zhang Yimou aspirations that never quite take flight, but he does have action choreographer Woo-Ping Yuen (The Matrix and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) on tap to bolster the illusion. 113 minutes | Boston Common + Fenway + Fresh Pond + Circle + suburbs
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