(Cross-posted in slightly different form from the Forbidden Kingdom thread.) Honestly, I thought Forbidden Kingdom was going to be a Hong Kong movie opening in the United States, much like Crouching Tiger and Hero were. All I know was that Jackie Chan and Jet Li were starring, and that was enough for me. It isn't a Hong Kong movie, of course. The framework story is silly, the overall plot is silly, and the white kid is super annoying (he's a real weasel). But I'm glad the filmmakers didn't waste a lot of time with exposition, character development, etc. They got pretty much into the meat of the story right away. Yuen Woo-ping's fight scenes were all amazing; my only real complaint was the judicious cutting in some of them. Well-choreographed fight scenes are best filmed the Hong Kong way, that is, with long takes. But that's a pretty middling complaint. (The aggressive cutting is most noticeable in the Jackie Chan-Jet Li fight.) There were a lot of great comic scenes. The kid was annoying and the story was kind of silly, but again--so what? It reminds me of how people reacted to Shoot 'Em Up, saying that the story was ludicrous, that there was no character development, etc. You don't watch a movie like Shoot 'Em Up to see Clive Owen's character grimace a la Daniel Day-Lewis; you watch a movie like Shoot 'Em Up to see shit get blown up, characters outsmart each other, and bullets fly. A similar rubric should be applied to films like The Forbidden Kingdom. I saw Jet Li and Jackie Chan fight, and I saw a lot of badass fight scenes. I'm satisfied. Anyway, it made me want to start watching martial-arts films again; tonight I watched The Magic Blade. Favorite quote: "I don't need to hold a grudge to kill."