The Forbidden Kingdom: Wikis


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The Forbidden Kingdom

Film poster
Directed by Rob Minkoff
Produced by Ryan Kavanaugh
Lynwood Spinks
Casey Silver
Yuen Woo-ping
Raffaella De Laurentiis
David U. Lee
Philip Lee
Zhongjun Wang
Written by John Fusco (screenplay)
Wu Cheng'en (story)
Starring Jackie Chan
Jet Li
Collin Chou
Liu Yifei
Li Bingbing
Michael Angarano
Music by David Buckley
Harry Gregson-Williams
Cinematography Peter Pau
Editing by Eric Strand
Studio Relativity Media
Distributed by Lionsgate
The Weinstein Company
Release date(s) United States:
April 18, 2008 (2008-04-18)
Hong Kong:
April 24, 2008 (2008-04-24)
Running time 104 min.
Country China
United States
Hong Kong
Language English
Budget $55,000,000
Gross revenue $127,906,624 [1]

The Forbidden Kingdom (Chinese: 功夫之王; working: The J & J Project[2]) 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 film is distributed in the United States through Lionsgate and The Weinstein Company,[3] and through The Huayi Brothers Film & Taihe Investment Company in China. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the USA/Hong Kong on 26 September 2008 and in the United Kingdom on 1 October 2008.



South Boston teenager Jason Tripitikas is a fan of martial arts films and he awakens from a dream of a battle between the Monkey King and celestial soldiers in the clouds. He visits a pawn shop in Chinatown to buy Wuxia DVDs and discovers a golden staff. On his way home, Jason is harassed by some hooligans, who attempt to use him to help them rob the shop-owner Hop. Hop tries to fight the thieves with the staff, but is shot and wounded. He tells Jason to deliver the staff to its rightful owner and Jason flees with the staff. He is cornered on the rooftop by the hooligans and almost shot too, but he is pulled off the roof by the staff and falls backwards onto the asphalt.

When Jason regains consciousness, he finds himself in a village in ancient China, that is under attack by armoured soldiers. The soldiers see his staff and attempt to seize it. He is saved by the inebriated traveling scholar Lu Yan, a supposed "immortal", who remains alert and agile even when drunk. Lu brings Jason to a teahouse and tells him the story of the rivalry between the Monkey King and the Jade Warlord. The Jade Warlord tricked the Monkey King into setting aside his magic staff Ruyi Jingu Bang and transformed him into a stone statue, but the Monkey King cast his staff far away before the transformation. Lu ends the tale with a prophecy about someone, a "Seeker", who will find the staff and free the Monkey King. Just then, they are attacked by the Jade Warlord's men again but manage to escape with the help of Golden Sparrow, a young girl who refers to herself in the third person. She reveals that her family was murdered by the Jade Warlord, against whom she has therefore sworn revenge.

Meanwhile, the Jade Warlord, upon learning that the staff has been sighted, sends the White-Haired Witch Ni-Chang to help him retrieve it in exchange for the elixir of immortality. Jason, Lu Yan and Golden Sparrow meet a strange man dressed in white, who takes the staff away from them. Lu Yan fights with the man (later revealed to be the Silent Monk) for the staff until the latter realizes that Jason is the prophesied Seeker, and he joins them in their quest to free the Monkey King. As the four travel to Five Elements Mountain, Lu Yan and the Silent Monk teach Jason Kungfu along the way. After crossing a desert, they encounter Ni-Chang and her henchmen and a battle ensues, in which Lu Yan is mortally wounded by Ni-Chang's arrow. The protagonists take refuge in a monastery, where they learn that Lu is actually not an immortal, and only the Jade Warlord's elixir can save his life. In desperation, Jason goes to the Warlord's palace alone to exchange the staff for the elixir.

In the palace, the Jade Warlord asks Jason to fight with Ni-Chang to the death, because he had promised to give the elixir to only one of them. Jason is defeated by Ni-Chang and the Warlord taunts him for his foolishness, and is about to decapitate him when the other protagonists and monks from the monastery arrive to join in the battle. Jason manages to grab the elixir and he tosses it to Lu Yan, who drinks it and recovers. The Silent Monk is killed by the Jade Warlord during the fight and he passes the staff to Jason, who uses it to smash the Monkey King's statue. The Monkey King is freed and the Silent Monk is revealed to be actually one of the Monkey's clones. After another long battle between the Monkey King and the Jade Warlord, the Warlord is eventually stabbed by Jason and falls into a lava pit to his death. However, Golden Sparrow has been seriously injured by the Warlord and she dies in Jason's arms, thanking him in the first person before dying. By then, the Jade Emperor has returned from his meditation and he praises Jason for fulfilling the prophecy before allowing him to return home.

Jason finds himself back in 21st century Boston after passing through a magical portal at the exact moment and location of his earlier fall. He defeats the hooligans easily and drives them away. He alerts the police and calls an ambulance for Hop, who survives from the gunshot wound and secretly reveals to Jason that he is an immortal. Before the film ends, Jason is delighted to see a girl who resembles Golden Sparrow and speaks to her briefly.


Actor Role
Jackie Chan Lu Yan, the Drunken Immortal/Hop, the pawn shop owner
Jet Li Sun Wukong (called) the Monkey King/The Silent Monk
Michael Angarano Jason Tripitikas, the Traveler[4]
Collin Chou The Jade Warlord[5]
Liu Yifei Golden Sparrow, the Chinatown girl
Li Bingbing Ni-Chang, the White-Haired Witch/Assassin

Production details



While the character Sun Wukong came from Wu Cheng'en's famous classical novel Journey to the West,[6] 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,

The screenwriter is a good friend of mine and we have been sparring partners for the past three years. I was among the first to get hold of the story and later we were joined by Jackie and others. The screenwriter and I discussed how to turn the story into a fantasy and dream-like film. He is a superb screenwriter and has been learning Chinese martial arts for more than 10 years. He has roughly put across in the film some of my basic understanding of martial arts and principles of Buddhism.[7]

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[4].


Production began in early 1 May 2007 in the area around the Gobi Desert in China.[8] 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.[9]. 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:

I have not worked with someone whom I’m comfortable with, in terms of movements, rhythm and natural reactions, in the last 10 years. I have done many fight scenes with others but there were usually more than 10 takes, which is a waste of time as the person may forget his moves and unnecessary injuries. When I fought with Jet, our actions were quick. We also didn’t have to do the same stunt over 20 times.[10]

Filming finished on August 24, 2007,[11] and the film went into post-production on September 29, 2007.

Critical reception

The response to The Forbidden Kingdom, by both critics and audiences, has generally been mixed. As of 1 May 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".[12] Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 57 out of 100, based on 26 reviews — indicating mixed or average reviews.[13]

DVD and Blu-ray releases

The Forbidden Kingdom was released on DVD and Blu-ray 26 September 2008. It sold about 1,199,593 units which translated to revenue of $22,921,609, bringing its worldwide total to $151,758,670[14].

It is sold on single disc and two-disc special editions. The single disc edition has no extras but contains widescreen and full screen presentations of the film. The 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 and a blooper reel. In addition to these extras, the Blu-ray release contains a digital copy.

Box office performance

The Forbidden Kingdom grossed a total of $127,906,624 worldwide — $52,075,270 in the United States and $75,831,354 in other territories.[15] 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 opening weekend and averaging $6,792 per theater.[16][17]


Jackie Chan has mentioned in an interview that he would someday like to make another film with Jet Li. Whether this refers to a sequel or an entirely new film remains unclear.

See also


  1. ^ 'Forbidden Kingdom' rules boxoffice - Hollywood Reporter, Retrieved on April 20, 2008
  2. ^ Yan, Seto Kit (April 22, 2008). "Yin and yang". The Star. Retrieved March 12, 2009. 
  3. ^ Lionsgate has keys to the 'Kingdom' - Hollywood Reporter
  4. ^ a b FORBIDDEN FIST: The Making of THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM By: John Fusco (screen writer of the film)
  5. ^ Collin Chou to star as evil warlord - Variety Asia
  6. ^ The Jackie Chan / Jet Li Project Will Tell a Journey to the West-Inspired Story?
  7. ^ Up Close With Jet Li. Retrieved on February 26, 2007.
  8. ^ Jackie Chan's diary from April 26 - 29, 2007 Retrieved on February 26, 2007
  9. ^ Jackie Chan's diary from May 1 - 5, 2007 Retrieved on February 26, 2007
  10. ^ Double Ace: Dr. Bob C and Ms. Anne E. new movie- Star Online
  11. ^ IMDB Page for Forbidden Kingdom
  12. ^ "The Forbidden Kingdom Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  13. ^ "Forbidden Kingdom, The (2008): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  16. ^ "The Forbidden Kingdom (2008) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  17. ^ Associated Press (2008-04-21). "'Forbidden Kingdom' lands No. 1 at box office". Google. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Forbidden Kingdom is a 2008 Hollywood martial arts-adventure film directed by Rob Minkoff. It is the first film starring together two of the most well-known names in the martial arts film genre, Jackie Chan and Jet Li.


Lu Yan

  • Remember what I taught you.
  • Praying Mantis, very good. For catching bugs, but not tigers.
  • Kung Fu hard work over time to accomplish skill. A painter can have Kung Fu, or the butcher who cuts meat with such skill, his knife never touches bone.
  • A musician can have Kung Fu, or the poet who paints pictures with words and makes emperors weep, this too is Kung Fu.

Monkey King

  • My turn!

The Silent Monk

  • But do not name it my friend, for it like water nothing can overcome water, yet it can overcome rock. It does not fight, it moves around the opponent, boneless, nameless, the true master dwells within, only you can free
  • Learn the form, but seek the formless. Hear the soundless. Learn it all, then forget it all. Learn The Way, then find your own way.

Ni Chang

  • How romantic, men will tell you what you want to hear Sparrow, but in the end. They will leave you, with nothing!


Jason Tripitikas: I can't understand you.
Lu Yan: That's because you're not listening!

Silent Monk: What about two tigers, one mountain?
Lu Yan: We can kill each other when this is over.

Lu Yan: "How can you fill your cup when it's full?"
Lu Yan: "Empty Your Cup."
[Jason empties his cup] the water falls on the fire and puts it out
Lu Yan: "It is hopeless! Hopeless!"

Golden Sparrow: How good is your kung fu?
Lu Yan: He's got no kung fu.... none!

Jason Tripitikas: How long as he been imprisoned?
Lu Yan: Five hundred years, give or take a few decades.
Jason: So how do I get home?
Lu Yan: You must return the staff you Five Elements Mountain, you must free the Monkey King!
Jason: I don't wanna free the Monkey King I wanna go home
Lu Yan: (ignoring Jason for the moment) Innkeeper, more wine!
Jason: Don't you think you had enough?
Lu Yan: In some areas I'm known as a poet and storyteller.
[inkeeper arrives with the bill]
Lu Yan: In other areas I'm known as a beggar. [gently moves the innkeeper towards Jason for him to pay]

[Lu Yan is in bed, dying from his arrow wound]
Lu Yan: When I was your age, I was a scholar-warrior in training. My arrow was good, so too my kung fu. I was chosen to take the several exams. To pass would place me among a short line of scholar immortals. I failed.
Jason: You're not immortal?
Lu Yan: If one does not attach himself to people and desires, never shall his heart be broken. ....But then, does he ever truly live? I'd rather die a mortal, with a care for someone, than to live as an immortal free from his death.
Jason: I don't wanna lose you.
Lu Yan: Forget about me.

Lu Yan: It is said that: master and student walk side-by-side, sharing their fate - until they go their separate ways.
Jason: I will never forget you.
Lu Yan: I guess that's what being immortal truly means.

Jason: Is this a dream?
Lu Yan: No, where you come from, is the dream, through the gate of no gate.
Jason: What is that, like a wormhole or something?
Lu Yan: No, either you are a Zen Master, or you carry something very special.
Jason: [points to the staff] This? It was in a pawnshop waiting for a guy to pick it up... and return it to its rightful owner...

[guards come into the inn]
Jason: What are we gonna do?
Lu Yan: How good is your Kung Fu?
[Jason does not reply immediately]
Lu Yan: Ah! He who speaks, does not know. He who knows, does not speak. Surely, you're masterful.

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