The Forbidden Kingdom

Infobox Film
name = The Forbidden Kingdom

caption = "The Forbidden Kingdom" poster
director = Rob Minkoff
producer = Ryan Kavanaugh,
Lynwood Spinks,
Casey Silver,
Yuen Woo-Ping
Raffaella de Laurentis,
David U. Lee,
Philip Lee,
Zhongjun Wang
writer = John Fusco (screenplay)
Wu Cheng'en (story)
starring = Jackie Chan
Jet Li
Liu Yifei
Collin Chou
Li Bingbing
Michael Angarano
music = David Buckley
cinematography = Peter Pau
editing = Eric Strand
distributor = Lionsgate
The Weinstein Company
Alliance Films (Canada)
released = flagicon|Russia April 17, 2008 [ [ World release dates for Forbidden Kingdom] ]
flagicon|Malaysia April 17, 2008
flagicon|United States April 18, 2008
flagicon|Hong Kongflagicon|Chinaflagicon|South Korea April 24, 2008
flagicon|France June 25, 2008
flagicon|United Kingdom July 11, 2008 [ [ The Forbidden Kingdom UK Release Date] - "Screen Power"]
flagicon|Australia July 24, 2008 [ [ The Forbidden Kingdom Australian Release Date] - "Greater Union Birch Carroll & Coyle Cinemas"]
flagicon|Japan July 26, 2008
runtime = 113 min.
country = United States
language = English / Mandarin / Cantonese
budget = $55,000,000
gross = $117,544,551 [ [ 'Forbidden Kingdom' rules boxoffice] - "Hollywood Reporter", Retrieved on April 20 2008]
website =
amg_id = 1:394111
imdb_id = 0865556
followed_by =

"The Forbidden Kingdom" (zh-c|c=功夫之王) is a 2008 American martial arts-adventure film from Lionsgate and The Weinstein Company directed by Rob Minkoff. It is the first film to star together two of the best-known names in the martial arts film genre, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. The action sequences were choreographed by Yuen Woo-ping.

The movie is distributed in the United States through Lionsgate and The Weinstein Company, [ [ Lionsgate has keys to the 'Kingdom'] - "Hollywood Reporter"] and through The Huayi Brothers Film & Taihe Investment Company in the People's Republic of China. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the US on September 9, 2008. The UK release has been dated for 17th November 2008.


South Boston teenager Jason Tripitikas (Michael Angarano) awakens from a dream of a battle between the Monkey King Sun Wukong (Jet Li) and heavenly soldiers amongst the clouds. He is a fan of kung fu movies; posters cover the walls of his room, and his TV is playing an episode from the 1970's Japanese TV Series "Monkey". After getting dressed, he makes his way to a pawn shop in downtown Boston's China town to buy wuxia DVDs. There, Jason converses with Hop (a prosthetics-laden Jackie Chan), the shop's elderly owner, and, while thumbing through some DVDs, he is drawn to a golden staff inside a room full of antiques. Hop tells him that the staff is to be delivered to its rightful owner and then closes the door.

On his way back home, Jason is attacked by local bully Lupo (Morgan Benoit) and his cronies, who force him to go back to the pawnshop at night so that Hop will open the door, allowing them to steal his money. Feeling betrayed, Hop tries to attack the thieves with the staff, but is shot by Lupo. Hop, wounded, tells Jason that Jason must now deliver the staff to its rightful owner. Jason takes the staff and runs from the thieves. On top of a building, he is surrounded by the bullies, as Lupo fears that Jason will expose the shooting to the police and intends to silence him. Before Lupo can shoot, Jason is suddenly pulled off the roof by the staff and falls backwards onto the asphalt- and through time.

When Jason wakes up, he has been transported to a place like ancient China, near a village which is soon attacked by armored warriors who notice his staff and try to take it from him. He is rescued by the inebriated traveling scholar Lu Yan (Jackie Chan), who is surprisingly alert and agile when drunk. Later that night, seated in a teahouse, Lu Yan tells Jason of a legend of the Monkey King, who caused havoc at the banquet held by the Immortals on the Five Elements Mountain celebrating the Jade Emperor's forthcoming 500-year period of meditation. The Jade Emperor took a liking to the Monkey King and decided to award him a heavenly title, much to the chagrin of the Jade Warlord (Collin Chou), who was the Emperor's general. The Emperor then left the Jade Warlord in charge of heaven before retreating to his period of seclusion. The Warlord challenged the Monkey King to a duel to display their fighting and magical abilities. After tricking the Monkey King into setting aside his magic staff Ruyi Jingu Bang, the Warlord struck him with a spell that would turn him into stone, whereupon the Monkey King threw the staff far off beyond the Warlord's grasp. Lu Yan ends the tale by stating a prophecy in which person known as the "Seeker" will find the staff and free the Monkey King. Lu Yan and Jason are then attacked by the Jade Warlord's soldiers, from whom they are rescued by Golden Sparrow (Liu Yifei), a young girl who refers to herself in the third person. Her family was murdered by the Jade Warlord and she has sworn revenge against him.

The Jade Warlord is told by his men that they have seen the magical staff. Alarmed, he sends the young white-haired witch Ni Chang (Li Bingbing), to retrieve it for him in return for anything she desired, naming her price to be the Warlord's elixir of immortality. When Jason wakes up in the morning he is attacked by a person dressed in white clothes, who takes the staff from him. Jason, Lu Yan, and Sparrow follow the man's trail to a temple. There, Lu Yan meets the Silent Monk (Jet Li), who refuses to hand the staff over. The two fight over the staff until the Silent Monk realizes that Jason is the staff's prophesied Seeker and joins the protagonists in their quest to free the Monkey King.

As the four make their way to Five Elements Mountain, Lu Yan and Silent Monk teach Jason kung fu. After crossing a great desert, they encounter Ni Chang and her henchmen. After a quick scuffle, the four manage to escape with the staff, but Lu Yan is mortally injured by Ni Chang's arrow. The protagonists take refuge in a monastery, where they find out that only the Jade Warlord's elixir of immortality will heal Lu Yan, revealing that he was never actually immortal as he proclaimed. Jason, desperate to help Lu Yan, goes alone to the Warlord's palace to exchange the staff for the elixir.

At the palace, Jason learns that the Jade Warlord promised the elixir to Ni Chang if she brought back the staff; given that Jason has brought it, he is commanded to fight Ni Chang to the death, earning the elixir by his victory. Although Jason has developed some proficiency in the martial arts, the far more experienced Ni Chang easily defeats him. Jason is saved when the Silent Monk and Sparrow arrive, with Lu Yan being carried by monks from the monastery. The Silent Monk duels the Jade Warlord to protect the staff while Sparrow fights Ni Chang. During the fight, Jason seizes the elixir and throws it to Lu Yan, who drinks it and becomes immortal, regaining his strength and energy. Lu Yan then fights Ni Chang on a balcony. The Silent Monk is mortally wounded during his battle with the Jade Warlord and throws the staff to Jason. Jason takes the staff and shatters the Monkey King's statue form, freeing him from his imprisonment. The Silent Monk dies of his injuries and becomes a golden hair, revealing him to be a magical human familiar created by the Monkey King immediately prior to his imprisonment. The fight between the Monkey King and the Jade Warlord recommences.

After a long battle, Lu Yan dispatches Ni Chang by sending her off the palace balcony. Sparrow tries to kill the Jade Warlord with her jade dart, but is fatally wounded when he deflects it by a chi blast. Infuriated, Jason is able to stab the Jade Warlord with the dart when the Monkey King shoves him in the boy's direction, whereupon he drops the Warlord into a pool of lava. Jason then attends Sparrow, who thanks him in first person before dying. He is subsequently praised by the newly returned Jade Emperor for fulfilling the prophecy. As his reward for his courage, Jason chooses to be return to his time and place.

Jason wakes up back in modern-day Boston, lying where he fell. Apparently very little time has passed since Jason went to ancient China, as he is attacked by Lupo that very instant. Jason defeats him single-handedly, frightens off the other bullies, and alerts the police. Old Hop manages to survive the gunshot, on grounds that he is immortal and is actually Lu Yan.

Before Jason leaves the scene, he sees a girl who resembles Sparrow and works at the "Golden Sparrow" shop. Jason, surprised but delighted to see her, speaks with her briefly and goes home, where he practices his kung fu on the roof with a staff as the Monkey King begins his own Journey to the West."'


Production details


While the character Sun Wukong came from Wu Cheng'en's famous classical novel "Journey to the West", [ [ The Jackie Chan / Jet Li Project Will Tell a Journey to the West-Inspired Story?] ] in an interview with Screen Power magazine, actor Collin Chou denied that the plotline would be related to the novel. The details of the plot were devised by screenwriter John Fusco along with actor Jet Li. Li explains,

In a behind the scenes article he wrote for "Kung Fu Magazine", screenwriter John Fusco also stated he derived the surname for the Jason Tripitikas character from “the wandering monk, Tripitaka, from Journey to the West.


Production began in early May 2007 in the area around the Gobi Desert in China. [ [ Jackie Chan's diary from April 26 - 29, 2007] Retrieved on February 26 2007] Before filming began, the entire cast did a costume fitting and a script read through, certain dialogues were altered to suit the different actors' English speaking abilities; this was due to the majority of the cast having English as their second language. Chan described the first day of shooting as "very relaxing" because the shots only required drama and walking, with no action. [ [ Jackie Chan's diary from May 1 - 5, 2007] Retrieved on February 26 2007] . When the two martial arts veterans (Chan and Li) did film action scenes together for the first time, they both expressed how easy it was to work with one another. Chan explained:

Filming finished on August 24 2007, [ IMDB Page for Forbidden Kingdom] ] and the film went into post-production on September 29, 2007.


Among other titles, the film was given the working title, "The J & J Project", before being officially titled "The Forbidden Kingdom" in April of 2007.

Several teasers and trailers have been released to the web, with the latest one currently playing on the official site. There have also been a number of posters released, each based on one character from the film and featuring a distinct color background and tagline.

Critical reception

The response to "The Forbidden Kingdom", by both critics and audiences, has generally been positive. As of September 1, 2008, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 64% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 121 reviews — with the consensus being "Great fight scenes, but too much filler" [cite web|url= |title=The Forbidden Kingdom Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes |accessdate=2008-04-23 |publisher=Rotten Tomatoes] . Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 57 out of 100, based on 26 reviews — indicating mixed or average reviews. [cite web|url= |title=Forbidden Kingdom, The (2008): Reviews |accessdate=2008-04-23 |publisher=Metacritic]

DVD and Blu-ray releases

"The Forbidden Kingdom" was released on DVD and Blu-ray September 9, 2008. It is sold on one-disc and two-disc special editions. The one-disc edition has no extras but will contain widescreen and full screen presentations on the single disc. The two-disc special edition includes a commentary by director Rob Minkoff, deleted scenes with commentary, featurettes ("The Kung Fu Dream Team", "Dangerous Beauty", "Discovering China", "Filming in Chinawood", and "Monkey King and the Eight Immortals"), a Previsualization Featurette with commentary by director Rob Minkoff, a blooper reel, and a digital copy for iTunes/Apple/Quicktime, and for Windows Media. A Blu-ray two-disc special edition is also available with features identical to the two-disc special edition.

Box office performance

"The Forbidden Kingdom" grossed a total of $119,114,685 worldwide — $52,075,270 in the United States and $67,039,415in other territories. [cite web|url= |title=The Forbidden Kingdom (2008) |accessdate=2008-04-28 |publisher=Box Office Mojo] In its opening weekend in the United States and Canada, the film grossed $21,401,121 in 3,151 theaters, ranking #1 at the box office (for one week) and averaging $6,792 per theater. [cite web|url= |title=The Forbidden Kingdom (2008) - Weekend Box Office Results |accessdate=2008-04-23 |publisher=Box Office Mojo] [cite web|url= |title='Forbidden Kingdom' lands No. 1 at box office |accessdate=2008-04-23 |author=Associated Press |date=2008-04-21 |publisher=Google]

ee also



External links

* [ Official site]
*imdb title|id=0865556|title=The Forbidden Kingdom
*rotten-tomatoes|id=forbidden_kingdom|title=The Forbidden Kingdom
*metacritic film|id=forbiddenkingdom|title=The Forbidden Kingdom
*mojo title|id=forbiddenkingdom|title=The Forbidden Kingdom
*amg movie|id=1:394111|title=The Forbidden Kingdom
* [ Info from Jackie Chan's website]
* [ Info from Jet Li's website]
* [ Info from Collin Chou's website]
* [ Interview with Composer David Buckley at Tracksounds]
* [ Official Kung Fu Magazine "Behind the scenes" article by Gene Ching]
* [ The Forbidden Kingdom Game]

Box Office Leaders USA
before = Prom Night
date = April 20
year = 2008
after = Baby Mama

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