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Review: The Forbidden Kingdom

The head-to-head confrontation between Jackie Chan and Jet Li, which occurs almost midway through the film, is not worth the build-up, says Rashid Irani.

movie reviews Updated: May 03, 2008 15:28 IST
Rashid Irani

The Forbidden Kingdom


Cast

: Jackie Chan, Jet Li


Direction

: Rob Minkoff


Rating

: *½



Sparks were expected to fly. After all, two martial arts superstar share screen space for the first time. Sorry to say, but the head-to-head confrontation between Jackie Chan and Jet Li, which occurs almost midway through the film, is not worth the build-up.



The trouble is that neither the popular kung fu duo nor director Minkoff (

The Lion King

) inspire us to emphatise with cipher characters who are supposed to fulfill a prophecy by delivering a magic stick to the fabled Monkey King.



The illogical action flits between ancient China and America today. A wannabe karate kid (Michael Angarano) gets mired in the hokey goings-on to show off wire-fu stunts. For a touch of female allure, a couple of petite femmes pop up on the scene.



As for the acting calibre, it’s never more than serviceable. We even wonder what prompted the redoubtable Jackie Chan and Jet Li to take on such a cheesy assignment.



In other words,

The Forbidden Kingdom

is out of bounds.