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The Forbidden Kingdom

Eh... I can't in good conscience recommend The Forbidden Kingdom to anyone.

To be fair, I'm gonna have a hard time reviewing Kung-Fu movies, Westerns, War and Mob movies. I just don't care for the genres. That being said, The Forbidden Kingdom had every opportunity to change my mind. There have been several instances when someone has mixed one of the above genres with a genre that I actually enjoy and made a movie that I can recommend... Jarhead, Back to the Future Part III, Dick Tracy just to name a few (and by a few, I mean the only ones I can think of right now).

The movie was both over explained and under explained at the same time. When we weren't listening to some longwinded explanation of the necessary backstory voiced over a flashback, we were either listening to a long winded explanation of a secondary characters unnecessary backstory, or watching an overlong fight sequence. What we should have been doing (short of going home to play Grand Theft Auto IV) is listening to a credible explanation as to how the main character travelled thousands of miles and hundreds of years just as he is about to be killed after witnessing a murder. I'm still waiting for an explanation for all of the floating around that happens in kung-fu movies, too, by the way.

The timeline of the movie is unclear as well. This is due mainly to the terrible editing job. Most people scoff at the editing award at the Oscars. When an editor does a good job, you shouldn't know it... you'll know it if (s)he does a poor job and this was one of those times. The main character seems to master the art of kung-fu and develops an attachment to Jackie Chan over a very short period of time.

The bottom line is, I tend not to enjoy kung-fu movies, however, this movie did nothing to win me over. I don't like westerns, but I did like 3:10 to Yuma and The Assassination of Jesse James last year so it wouldn't have taken much. This movie was perfectly placed to open the kung-fu movie "door" for me, mixing it with fantasy and comedy... but it failed.

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