It’s the event we’ve all been waiting for… and it was freakin awesome! The whole movie is kinda like The Neverending Story meets The Karate Kid. When Jason (Michael Angarano), a Kung Fu-obsessed teenager, gets into trouble with a street gang, he ends up in the possession of an ancient staff that transports him back to ancient China. After meeting drunken traveler Lu Yan (Jackie Chan), Jason discovers that he’s quite possibly a prophesized traveler meant to bring this powerful staff back to its rightful owner, The Monkey King (Jet Li), so that the Monkey King can defeat the Jade Warlord (Collin Chou) and free the land of tyranny. Along the way, they also meet a young musician out for revenge, Sparrow (Yifei Liu), and a traveling monk (also Jet Li), on a journey to help reunite the staff with The Monkey King.

The beginning (after the Monkey King sequence) is really the only downfall to the movie. It’s cliché, questionably acted, and insanely fast-paced, as if they really didn’t care about the setup at all (which I’m sure they didn’t). The beginning stuff in ancient China is cool, but a bit slow. The movie really starts to pick up with the tea house fight scene. This part also introduces us to Sparrow, who… for some strange and unexplained reason… likes to speak in the third person. It’s a bit confusing at first, but you get used to it. Though she’s really hot, so that makes up for it, too.

The fights scenes are amazingly choreographed, and you really can’t tell Jet Li or Jackie Chan’s age in any of it. They move fast, and they move awesomely. And there’s very little Wire-Fu, as the trailers seem to indicate the contrary. It is there, don’t get me wrong, but it’s minimal. Most of it is straight-up Kung Fu action. And the action scenes are all pretty long, which is great… especially the Chan/Li fight, which goes on for about 5-10 minutes at least. The price of admission is worth it simply for that fight, but all the other ones are just as amazing.

The biggest problem people have been having (prior to seeing it) is with the ‘white kid’. Let me tell you, it’s actually not bad. His story arch works, and it isn’t overly cheesy or anything. And his fighting is actually pretty well done. He doesn’t become a super master or anything, so it isn’t all cliché like that. He still gets his ass kicked after learning to fight. The fighting lessons just help him to stand more of a chance than he would have had otherwise.

As for Chan and Li, you could tell they really had a lot of fun making this movie, especially Li with his Monkey King character. It’s over-the-top and goofy, but it works and is just as cool as everything else. The ending of the movie isn’t nearly as cliché or predictable as you would think, as it is only really half of a typical Hollywood ending. The visuals were great, and the music was stunningly amazing. I found that I really enjoyed the music of this movie.

For a kid’s movie, it was really well done, and I loved the action and everything else about the movie. I’d go as far as saying that it’s one of my favorites for the year (thus far). They could have worked on Jason's intro a bit more, but it's really overshadowed by the rest of the movie. And I’m totally gonna go see it again.

A Keanu 'Whoa'

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.