Director: Rob Minkoff
Cast: Jet Li (both as the Monkey King and the Monk), Jackie Chan (both as the Old Hop and Lu Yan), Michael Angarano (Jason), Liu Yifei (Golden Sparrow), Deshun Wang (the Jade Emperor).
The story based on: Journey to the West, a Chinese novel
Why to watch: The biggest attraction for me to watch this film was the coming together of two kung-fu experts for the first time on the screen, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. Needless to say, I loved the action sequences and the occasional humorous dialogs.
Synopsis: In modern-day Boston, Jason who is a teenager comes across a golden staff while buying DVDs from the shop of Old Hop. Though an admirer of kung-fu moves, Jason doesn't boast of possessing the skills and moves himself. So, bullied by a local boy, he has no other way but to knock at Old Hop's door at night. Once the door opens, the local bully and his gang comes inside to rob the shop. In the scuffle that follows, Old Hop is shot and urges Jason to return the golden staff to its rightful owner. Jason grabs the staff, runs upstairs to the roof, his enemies close on his hills and then......he finds himself in ancient China. He is soon spotted by the soldiers of the Jade Warlord and though he runs, he is easily surrounded by the soldiers on the horseback. However, it's just the beginning of the magical journey as in comes the wine-loving wanderer Lu Yan (Jackie Chan), a kung-fu expert and saves him. Yan tells Jason the myth about the golden staff and its owner, the Monkey King (Li) who was deceived by the Jade Emperor and turned into stone. Yan tells Jason that he is the fabled Seeker who has come into this time to fulfil the prophecy and return the staff to the Monkey King so that the Jade Emperor can be stopped from spreading further evils. Later, Lu Yan and Jason are joined in by an orphan (Liu Yifei) and a kung-fu master, the Silent Monk (Li). What follows from here is a roller-coaster ride, ending in the triumph of the good over the evil.
My verdict: The Forbidden Kingdom is a fully paisa-vasool movie.