Good luck maintaining whatever excitement you’ve been able to muster up for the way-late Jackie Chan/Jet Li team-up, The Forbidden Kingdom: the trailer just hit Yahoo! Movies, and it’s a mess of CG, ho-hum fight choreography and Michael Angarano. Regardless of the underwhelming trailer, the lament is the same: why didn’t this happen ten years ago?
I hate to be rough on Angarano, who seemed to be on his way with a trio of impressive performances in Lords of Dogtown, Sky High and One Last Thing…, but he’s been forgettable in everything since then. And if this trailer is an accurate representation of his work in The Forbidden Kingdom, “forgettable” will be a very charitable criticism.
It’s a very bad sign when you’re obsessing on the obligatory American lead in a big-budget chopsocky flick starring Jackie Chan and Jet Li, but what are you gonna do? We’ve seen the best of Jackie and Jet, and we know we’re not going to get anything close to the level of Drunken Master 2 or Fist of Legend in a Rob Minkoff-directed film. We also know that Jackie is well past his prime and, through no fault of his own, can’t perform up to his very high standards. If we get one near-great fight scene between the two, then maybe this will be worth a watch; I’m just not seeing it in the trailer.
The Forbidden City opens wide in the States on April 18th.