Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Forbidden Kingdom (Soundtrack) by David Buckley - Review

The Forbidden Kingdom (Soundtrack) by David Buckley Review
The Keys to the Kingdom
Review by Christopher Coleman

For martial-art film fans, THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM has been a dream come true. Even beyond their prime, Jet Li and Jackie Chan are still tops in the business. For this Lions Gate release, the two play iconic roles: a monk and a drunk respectively. They become the co-masters of a young, displaced Bostonian, Jason Tripitakas. Not only is Jason in the wrong place, but he's in the wrong time...and universe. The young, kung-fu-film-fanatic, has come to possess a golden-staff, that legend says, was once owned by the mythic Monkey King. Before being deceived and imprisoned by the sinister Jade Warlord, the Monkey King hurled his staff from his world into ours - awaiting the time when "the chosen one" would find and return the staff to him; thereby setting him free. Jason begins his quest with the prized staff in hand and along the way is joined by the monk, the drunk, and a young girl bent on vengeance against the same Jade Warlord who murdered her family. THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM doesn't quite live up to some of Asia's top Wuxia films but is easily the best effort I've seen come a Hollywood studio in a very long time. It is a well-rounded film that doesn't take itself too seriously which allows for a wider palette of emotions than normally expected for such a film. To keep pace with frenetic action sequences, fantastic settings, romantic flirtations, and sporadic humor, newcomer-composer, David Buckely was hired to pen the score.

David Buckley has come a long ways from his days as a choir-boy in the United Kingdom. Traveling a road that lead through Cambridge University, as both student and later professor, Buckley longed for more than the composing of high-brow, post-modern pieces could deliver. Writing scores for many television documentaries and British commercials, he eventually connected back with an old acquaintance, composer HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS. That working relationship lead to THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM for Buckley as composer with Gregson-Williams as the score's producer. Serendipitously, it was a rejected piece of music, from another project, that was a key in opening the door to THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM - a piece that eventually became a part of this score.

Read the full review here

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