Jet Li and Jackie Chan, the two men responsible for more onscreen mayhem and stunning setpieces than any other actors working today. So the prospect of the two of them teaming up together for an epic adventure is enough to have fans watching 'Fist of Legend' and 'Drunken Master' for the 800th time in anticipation. With the exception of Tony ('Ong-Bak') Jaa signing up too, 'The Forbidden Kingdom' would appear to have everything.
Taking its storyline from a number of Chinese books and legends - 'The Monkey King', 'The Eight Immortals' and 'The Bride with the White Hair' - 'The Forbidden Kingdom' follows the trials and tribulations of Jason (Angarano), a Kung-Fu obsessed teenager who finds himself transported from the present day to ancient China where he teams up on a quest with The Silent Monk (Li), boozehound Old Hop (Chan) and the revenge-seeking Golden Sparrow (Liu). For him to return home, Jason must fulfil a prophecy and become a warrior in the process.
So should you be in the queue today? Well, if you're very young, and haven't seen much of Li and Chan in action already, 'The Forbidden Kingdom' will be fun, but those expecting the world and more will be disappointed. While it wants to be an epic that people will cherish, 'The Forbidden Kingdom' is curiously flat - the laughs aren't anything special, some of the effects are more ow than wow and, following Jaa's 'Ong-Bak' and 'Warrior King', the action isn't that stunning. The athleticism of Li and Chan remains superhuman, but they've done better in the past and you'd get more enjoyment out of a Friday night triple bill out of some 'Monkey' episodes, 'Big Trouble in Little China' and 'The Lord of the Rings'.
The duo need to sit down, figure out where this went wrong, decide on a new project together - and then get Tony Jaa to join them. Gents, you're too great to have this as your team-up legacy.