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About two-thirds of a [[{{Wuxia}} kung-fu action fantasy film]] set in ancient China with Creator/JetLi and Creator/JackieChan and loosely based on ''Literature/JourneyToTheWest''.

The rest of the film is about a modern-day American teenager who finds himself in ancient China after discovering the Monkey King's [[AppliedPhlebotinum magical staff]]. He [[TheLoad accompanies]] Jackie Chan and Jet Li on their quest to return the staff to its rightful owner while trying to avoid the minions of the evil [[BigBad Jade Warlord]].

The writer and the director claim that they considered a story with a [[WhatCouldHaveBeen Chinese-American teenager being the protagonist in a "get in touch with his roots" story]], but Jackie Chan thought it would be better for the [[WhiteMaleLead main character be a white kid]]. That way, the outsider, who was obsessed with kung fu movies but [[ThisLoserIsYou did not understand the meaning and philosophy behind kung fu as a martial art]], would gain a deeper appreciation for lessons he learned along the way.
!!This film contains examples of:

* AbsurdlySharpBlade: The blade of the Jade Warlord's weapon is smashed into the floor, and then dragged across the room. It cuts through the stone floor like butter.
* ActionGirl: Golden Sparrow knows Kung Fu, is a master at throwing darts and DualWielding short-swords.
* ActionSurvivor: Jason has no skills in his new martial arts world but gets skilled enough to survive many ordeals.
* AndThatsTerrible: When our RagtagBunchOfMisfits comes across innocent civilians hanged in the middle of a ransacked village, we get "Behold the tyranny of the warlord." Golden Sparrow even says "He must be stopped" in response.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: In the end, Jason returns to his place and time with all the Kung Fu training he learned in the past, to begin a life WalkingTheEarth as a modern {{Wuxia}} hero.
-->'''Lu Yan''': And so the legend is told; that the Monkey King began his journey west, in search of truth...\\
...while the traveler returned to his world to walk the path of the warrior and find his own truth.\\
As one tale ends, so another begins.
* ArcWords: "Two tigers can't rule the same mountain."
* ArtisticLicenseGeography: Apparently, the Sahara and Gobi deserts are very close by.
* AscendedFanboy: Did we mention that Jason is a kung fu movie fan?
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: Pretty straightforward tale of good vs. evil.
* BookEnds: The beginning and end of the movie are set in an extreme version of [[HahvahdYahdInMyCah Hollywood Boston]]. Since parts of the movie were actually filmed in Boston's Chinatown district it is justified.
* CelebrityParadox: Jason is a kung fu movie fan, but apparently does not recognise Jet Li and Jackie Chan's characters as eerily similar in appearance to their actors.
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler:The Monkey King's clones. It turns out that Jet Li's character is a clone all along.]]
* ConvectionSchmonvection: Averted. The Jade Warlord's volcano is ''hot'', hot enough to burn his robe without it having to touch the lava.
* CoversAlwaysLie:
** The DVD cover is basically the same as the poster above, with the protagonist clearly absent in both name and image.
** For bonus points, Jackie Chan's character is the one that has the ''least'' to do with the staff, but he's the one holding it on the cover.
%%* DarkActionGirl: Ni Chang.
%%* DeathByOriginStory: Golden Sparrow's parents.
* DeathGlare: Many throughout the movie, but the topper has to be the one [[spoiler:Jason gives to the Jade Warlord as he kills him in revenge for the Warlord killing Sparrow.]]
* DesignatedGirlFight: Sparrow vs. Ni Chang, just as glorious as any other fight scene in the movie.
* DespairEventHorizon: In the desert, Jason goes through a "We're not gonna make it, are we?" moment. A quick pep talk gets him through it.
* DisneyVillainDeath: [[spoiler:Ni Chang plummets off a cliff after having her hair cut as she was holdng on to Lu with it, trying to drag him off as well.]]
* DrunkenMaster: Jackie Chan's character, [[ActorAllusion referencing one of his own series]].
* EvilGloating: Several instances, most notably the Jade Warlord before he tries to have Jason executed.
* ExcessiveEvilEyeshadow: The EvilOverlord sure likes the color green.
* FakeActionPrologue: A dream about the Monkey King. A subversion of one aspect, because while it looks fake and is revealed to be a dream, those events actually did happen.
%%* FoeTossingCharge
* GangOfBullies: The protagonist gets harassed and almost killed by a few.
* GrailInTheGarbage: Jason finds the staff of the Monkey King at a store specializing in wuxia movie [=DVDs=].
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Ni Chang is able to shoot Lu Yan in the back from miles away.
* InstantExpert: Averted. While Jason gets remarkably good at kung-fu, [[spoiler:in the fight between him and Ni Chang]] it is blatantly obvious that he is not an expert. Also, his hair is in longer and [[ExpositoryHairstyleChange longer ponytails during the training montage]].
* InstrumentOfMurder: Golden Sparrow is deadly with the tuning pegs of her ''pipa''.
* {{Koan}}:
** Jet Li and Jackie Chan's narration about the nature of kung fu, includes quotes from the Tao Te Ching and Chuang Tzu, two classics of Taoist (Daoist) philosophy. For example "Learn the form, but seek the formless", "Hear the soundless", "Learn it all, then forget it all", "Learn The Way, then find your own way.", etc.
** Lu Yan also does the classic "you must empty your cup before I can fill it" but instead of teling Jason the story, he just tries to fill his tea cup.
* LetsFightLikeGentlemen: Subverted in the prologue, when the Jade Warlord challenges the Monkey King to a fair fight without using magic or weapons. Monkey puts aside his staff and the Jade Warlord quickly breaks his own promise.
* LetsYouAndHimFight: Jackie Chan vs. Jet Li! There's a in-universe reason for it but everyone knows this trope is the real reason.
%%* MacguffinEscortMission
* MagicalAsian: Both Chan and Li's characters.
* MeaningfulName: Jason Tripitikas. Jason famously went on a quest for the Golden Fleece in Greek mythology, and Tripitikas is a crashingly obvious ShoutOut to ''Literature/JourneyToTheWest''.
* MetaCasting: Jackie Chan is basically playing [[Film/DrunkenMaster Beggar So]] in this movie. The student has become the teacher.
* MightyWhitey: Largely averted. While Jason becomes [[InstantExpert very proficient in kung-fu in a seemingly short time]], and is able to beat up any number of [[{{Mooks}} Jade Soldiers]] in single combat, he is significantly weaker than any of the other, more experienced named characters. Add in that he is being trained in the use of a staff in the kung fu manner, a skill that focuses highly on defense.
* MyParentsAreDead: When the monk tells Golden Sparrow to go home to her mom and dad, she tells him that they're dead.
* MythologyGag: Ni Chang interrogating some witnesses to the bar brawl and claiming that "all men are liars". Her character is a shout-out to the best known WomanScorned in Chinese fiction.
* NoNonsenseNemesis: Just shoot the heroes? Ni Chang does, with an arrow, from a great distance. If she had ''more'' arrows, the movie would have ended right there.
* NoSell: The Jade Warlord shrugs off every attack by the Silent Monk, including absorbing a thrust with his ''throat''.
* OpposedMentors: Jackie Chan and Jet Li literally ''fight'' over the protagonist; it's like he's just another facet for their feud. It even provides a quote, "Two tigers can't rule the same mountain."
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: "An orphan girl, a lost traveler, an old drunk, and a monk who has failed at the same task for half his life... Misfits following misfits, in the hope of rescuing a misfit."
* RealityEnsues: Although Jason clearly becomes a better fighter, he still loses to [[spoiler:Ni Chang]] due to the latter's greater experience.
* ReplacementLoveInterest: In the closing BookEnd. Possibly ReincarnationRomance, given the context of the main part of the story, or an AlternateSelf.
* TheReveal: Two minor ones: First [[spoiler:the Silent Monk turns out to be one of the Monkey King's clones]], and then at the end [[spoiler:Lu Yan is the old Chinese man Jason was friends with in the present.]]
* RuleOfCool: Jackie Chan vs. Jet Li!!!
* SceneryPorn: Mountains, valleys, forests, deserts, bamboo grove, peach tree grove... yeah, the film doesn't waste any time showing off Chinese landscape.
* ShootTheMessenger: Or stab him, and let his comrades drag him out.
* ShoutOut: Lot's of these, including:
** Film/DrunkenMaster obviously.
** Golden Sparrow to Golden Swallow, the female protagonist of 1966 ''wuxia'' classic ''Come Drink With Me'' (大醉俠). Sparrow even invites her enemy to "come drink with me" in an additional tip of the hat.
** Ni Chang to 1993 ''wuxia'' film ''The Bride With White Hair'' (白发魔女传).
%%* {{Southies}}
* TakenForGranite: The Monkey King turns into a statue early in the story. The whole point of the quest is to bring him back to life.
%%* TeachMeHowToFight
* ThirdPersonPerson: Golden Sparrow. It is probably meant to signify her traumatic past, and the way she has subsumed her identity into her mission, though in the end, she does get one line in first person.
* TookALevelInBadass: The main character, by the end of the movie.
* TrainingFromHell: The character Jason underwent this during the movie. What you ''didn't know'' was that Michael Angarano, Jason's actor, though somewhat athletic, also ''did not know kung fu'' and had to learn it during the shooting of the movie, undergoing some TrainingFromHell. Some of the stuff went a little like this:
-->'''Kung Fu Master:''' Your legs aren't flexible enough. We need to work on your flexibility.\\
'''Michael Angarano:''' Okay, so does that mean I'm going to be do stretching exercises?\\
'''Kung Fu Master:''' No, muscles adapt quicker when they're growing anew. Two of my disciples will pull your legs so your muscles rip apart and we'll work on your flexibility as the muscles grow back. You won't be able to walk properly for the next two weeks though.\\
And three weeks later, Michael Angarano could do a full split.
* TranslatorMicrobes: When Jason complains that he doesn't understand ancient Chinese Lu Yan says "[[HandWave That's because you're not listening!]]"
* UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny: This movie was marketed as the answer to the age-old question of Jackie Chan vs. Jet Li. [[spoiler:Their characters fight to a draw.]]
* WeirdnessCensor: Jason is a ''Caucasian'' male in a country that, quite possibly, has yet to ''see'' a Caucasian male. The most that happens is Creator/JetLi going [[LampshadeHanging "Are you sure he's the chosen one? He's not even Chinese!"]]
* WhipItGood: [[TheDragon Ni Chang]] not only wields a whip as her primary weapon, but also uses her own PrehensileHair as a whip when disarmed.
* WhiteMaleLead: Jason is an unusual example because while White Male Leads are normally meant to attract white interest in a film with a minority-heavy cast, Jason made very few appearances in the trailer. Most of the marketing focused on Jackie Chan and Jet Li.
* WhyDontYouJustShootHim: One of the evil {{Southies}} has a three minute long fist-fight with Jason before finally pulling the gun he was so trigger-happy with earlier. To be fair though, as far as he is concerned, Jason just fell off a roof about a minute ago. How is he to know that about a year's worth of kung fu training from ''Jackie Chan'' and ''Jet Li'' occurred between roof and ground? Guns are messy and bring the cops.
* WireFu: Are you surprised? It's a {{wuxia}} film!
* YearOutsideHourInside: Jason falls from the roof of the store with the Magical Staff of the Monkey King and is transported back to Ancient China. When he completes his quest to save the Monkey King and defeat the Jade Warlord, he is returned back to his world and continues the fall as if a second hadn't passed by without him.
* YouHaveFailedMe: The Jade Warlord kills a soldier for bringing him news of the staff's reappearance. Possibly because he was in the process of selecting a girl for the night.
* YouWillBeBeethoven: In this milieu, the wandering monk [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tang_Sanzang Tripitaka]](Sanskrit for "Three Baskets") is actually ''Jason'' Tripitakas, a modern Caucasian with Greek ancestry.
[[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment Did we mention]] [[OverlyLongGag Jackie Chan vs. Jet Li!!!]]