Two of the biggest film stars in the world, and 2of the 3 greatest martial arts film stars in history, and we get...
It was as if Quentin Tarantino's wet dreams had been put on celluloid.
The banal stereotypes, laughably bad dialogue, nonexistent acting and just insulting Orientalism had me cringing the whole time.
It was as if the people that made this hadn't watched a real Chinese movie made after 1982, a point supported by the opening credits' use of Chinese film imagery from nothing newer thanEnter the Dragon.
The dialogue was more like old English dubs than anything people would really say, and that includes the white kid!
The fact that it was #1 in the US on its opening weekend just lets us know that no progress has really been made sinceBreakfast at Tiffany's.
It was even more special to see a poster forKung Fu Pandaon my way out. How am I supposed to take Vickie to see that movie? At least it will be better than this one...
This is what America wants to see. A 'China' frozen in the past that exists merely as a means for some white kid to learn how to stand up for himself after being bullied.
The (white) student who naturally saves his teacher, saves the world and gets the docile, alluring Chinese girl.
Forbidden Kingdomwas written by John Fusco, the same guy who gave us the classicHidalgo, where a white guy rides in a desert race in Arabia. SPOILER: He wins... Fusco also wrote the Ralph Macchio classicCrossroads, where a young white guitarist rescues an old black bluesman from prison and eternal damnation. He also wroteThunderheart, where Val Kilmer, possessed of the requisite vague but pertinent Sioux background, achieves Native American spiritual transcendence in record time under the tutelage of the patient, inscrutable Graham Greene.
The director ofForbidden Kingdomalso madeThe Lion King, Disney's animated re-make ofBirth of a Nation.
"In a way, it's kind of like a kung-fu Wizard of Oz," said Fusco. "A "Wizard of Wu-Shu," if you will.
This character has entered this world that could well be a dream."*
*Or a nightmare.
Fusco's "The Forbidden Kingdom" is the first martial arts movie to open at number one in four years.
That's a telling statement.
I only watched Forbidden Kingdom because I intend to write an extremely critical piece of research about it.
I hope Wong Jing makes a movie where I Love You Boyz go back to ancient Palestine and defeat Goliath for David only so that they can learn to stand up to the triad gangs in their neighborhood, making circumcision jokes the whole time.
That would be just as good, and very likelybetter.
I want Elvis Tsui Kam Kong
to play the dopey white kid part in a Cat III spoof calledThe Forbidden Condom.
I've tried to be nice, but this movie sucks rancid chicken salad out of a dead cow's ass. With a straw.
The fact that it caricatures one of the most important legends in the oldest culture on earth is just...extra, I suppose.
With all that $ TWC is putting into Asian movies, I can'twaitto see what's next!
Oh, I forgot;The Seven Samurai, where the multi-culti (mostly white) band of mercenaries save a Thai village from an evil warlord. John Fusco wrote that one too...
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