Stretch your hamstrings and polish your knuckles because tonight at 8 p.m. ET, we’re showing “The Forbidden Kingdom.” The film is an impressive feat of martial arts action, but it’s more revered because it finally brought to martial arts legends together. Yes, Jackie Chan and Jet Li both star in the film. Do you need any other reason to watch? Oh fine here’s a historical reason: “The Forbidden Kingdom” is loosely based on the 16th century Chinese novel, “Journey to the West.” So you can get your history lesson tied up in a pretty kung fu-riffic package. The film follows an Amercian teenager (Michael Angarano) who comes across a magical staff owned by a pawn shop owner (Chan) that transports him back to ancient China, where he becomes involved with immortal drunken master (see? beer is good) Lu Yan (Chan again) and a quest to free the Monkey King (Li) from the stone statue that imprisons him. There is an evil warlord (Collin Chou), a witch and a magical elixir and all the things that make kung fu movies so much fun to watch. Watching two masters– Jackie Chan and Jet Li– engage in their craft is something we will never be sick of, which is why we’ll be making it a double feature and watching at both 8 and 10:15 p.m. ET.
Here are five of our favorite Jet Li movies. Watch them all, you can’t go wrong:
5. “The Forbidden Kingdom”
3. “The Enforcer” a.k.a. “My Father is a Hero”
2. “Once Upon a Time in China”
1. “Fist of Legend”
“The Forbidden Kingdom” airs on IFC tonight at 8:00 PM ET and at 10:15 PM ET; Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 10:45 PM ET; Thursday, Sept. 13 at 1:00 AM ET; Tuesday, Sep. 25 at 8:00 PM ET; and Wednesday, Sep. 26 at 12:45 AM ET