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Teen Critic Enters the Forbidden Kingdom


Jet Li versus Jackie Chan in Forbidden Kingdom (Lionsgate)

By Carlos Sepulveda

I have always wondered who would win in a fight between Jackie Chan and Jet Li. When I heard they were making a movie together, I thought that maybe my question would finally be answered. The Forbidden Kingdom (opening April 17 throughout San Diego) is a movie that mixes fantasy, action, humor and adventure. The beginning of the movie dragged a bit, until we started to see more of Jackie Chan and Jet Li. The story line of the movie wasn't very exciting or original, I even found several similarities between The Forbidden Kingdom and The Lord of the Rings .

Forbidden Kingdom starts off with a boy named Jason who is obsessed with Chinese Martial Arts movies. He stumbles across an ancient Chinese bow staff as he looks for more movies at a pawn shop. After falling from a building, Jason is unexpectedly transported back to ancient China to find the owner of the bow staff. Once in China he meets a drunk Kung Fu master, Lu Yan, who is played by Jackie Chan. Lu Yan and Jason embark on the journey to return the bow staff to the Monkey King who is trapped in stone until he has his staff again. On their way to the Monkey King they meet a girl, Golden Sparrow (played by Crystal Liu Yi Fei) and the Silent Monk (played by Jet Li). The four amigos join forces to beat the evil Jade Warlord who wants to keep the Monkey King from having his bow staff again.

When I was thinking about the film, I found similarities, as I mentioned earlier, to Lord of the Rings. I saw a connection between the two movies. In Lord of the Rings , the ultimate goal is to get the ring to the top of the volcano and have it destroyed. In Forbidden Kingdom, the plot is similar. In this film, they must get the staff to the Monkey King, but first they must defeat an evil Jade Warlord who resembles the evil Saruman from Lord of the Rings. In the scene where the Silent Monk makes his first appearance dressed in white riding on a horse, he looked very much like Gandalf. Those are a few of the things that reminded me of Lord of the Rings. But even though Forbidden Kingdom lacked originality, the movie made up for it with its humor and great fight scenes.

Although the movie left my original question unanswered -- I still don't know who would win in a fight between Jackie Chan and Jet Li -- it was still worth watching. It was very fun to see Jackie Chan and Jet Li fight each other. I like watching Jackie Chan movies because he uses no special effects or flying scenes. But in Forbidden Kingdom that's not the case. Since the movie had Jackie Chan and Jet Li in it, I was expecting the fight scene of the year along with lots of humor. The movie was not exactly what I expected but was still worth watching.

-- Carlos Sepulveda is a senior currently attending Mount Miguel High. Carlos enjoys reading in his spare time and running. He is most interested in history, politics and world issues. Carlos likes to watch foreign films, comedies and dramas.

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