Critic Reviews



Based on 27 critic reviews provided by
For martial arts action fans, The Forbidden Kingdom may be the best fantasy story since the genre was opened to a wider audience by "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."
Once past the clunky prologue, the film is great fun, with a good balance between computer effects and athleticism.
The plot is negligible, but that's fine since it's really only a way to get from one set-piece to another.
Philadelphia Inquirer
The special effects are effective, though not terribly special. While director Minkoff pays homage to past masters of the genre, the past masters were better at this game than he.
Village Voice
Taken as a whole, though, it's an amiable lost-and-found of epic-adventure tropes. As I still illogically treasure "Willow," many a 10-year-old who sees Forbidden Kingdom will remember it fondly in spite of its flaws.
On its own terms, it's a handsome albeit unexceptional juvenile adventure shot on some magnificent Chinese locations.
Will please its core audience but won't enthrall anyone over the age of 16. (Even that might be stretching the point.)
Chicago Tribune
It's perhaps best suited for genre vets who can be satisfied with spot-the-reference games and Chan and Li's chemistry, or for undiscriminating kids who'll enjoy the "Karate Kid" vibe. But it's less a culmination of Li and Chan's careers than a passable footnote to better things.
The A.V. Club
At best, The Forbidden Kingdom counts as an amiable time-waster for kids, but much more should be expected from the momentous union of two kung-fu titans.
This kingdom really should be forbidden.

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