DVD of the Week: 'The Forbidden Kingdom'

If you thought you'd be older than McCain by the time Jackie Chan and Jet Li finally teamed up, The Forbidden Kingdom is the answer to your Kung Fu prayers. At 54 and 45, respectively, their first joint venture has great fight scenes (choreographed by Crouching Tiger's Woo-ping Yuen), funny lines and both subtle and overt references to martial arts flicks of yore.

Not-So-Young Fu

A sort of chop-shlocky Wizard of Oz meets Karate Kid, Kingdom's story goes like this: After some bullies force uber-geek Jason (Michael Angarano) to rob a Chinese curio shop run by his friend Old Hop (Chan), he escapes with an antique golden staff -- and finds himself magically transported to ancient China. Don't ask too many questions, but turns out Jason's more than just a Hong Kong cinema fanboy -- he's been tasked to return the legendary staff to its rightful master, the Monkey King (Li), a spritely Immortal imprisoned in stone long ago by the evil Jade Warlord. He meets up with Lu Yan (Chan again, doing his Drunken Master routine), the Silent Monk (Li, again) and Golden Sparrow (Liu Yifei), who teach him the ways of the Kung Fu warrior on their ragtag journey to rescue the Monkey King.

They're off to see the Warlord...

Extras: Pretty rudimentary, nothing spectacular here. Audio commentary, plus five short featurettes and an unremarkable blooper reel, which is surprising given Chan's movies often end with hilarious outtakes. Six deleted scenes show why they hit the cutting room floor. The Blu-ray offers an interactive picture-in-picture feature and BD Live interactivity. Both the BD and the two-disc DVD feature a digital copy.

Overview: Watching Chan and Li together at last easily eclipses any of the film's problems. Kids and fans of martial arts, fantasy films and '80s movies (hello, mullet ponytail!) will eat this up.

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