Monday, June 6, 2011

Review: Kung Fu Panda 2

Grade: B

Po the Panda, also known as the Dragon Warrior, is happy with his new role in life as a kung fu master. He has been training with the Furious Five, Tigress, Monkey, Mantis, Crane and Viper, in the Valley of Peace since they defeated the evil Tai Lung. However, lately there have been a number of incidents of bandits raiding villages and stealing all the metal they can find. It turns out they all work for Shen, a peacock who was banished from his family and palace when he started using gunpowder for evil doings, who has been devising a plan to reclaim his family home and rule over the city. Po and the Furious five must team up with some new kung fu allies in order to defeat Shen and his powerful weapons that seem to destroy anything and anyone it their path.

Kung Fu Panda is the sequel to the awesome Dreamworks Animation movie, Kung Fu Panda. The original movie was excellent and very well done so I was actually pretty excited for this sequel. This movie is actually a very good continuation of the story from the first movie. This one keeps the action going and is loaded with plenty of jokes. It is very entertaining but it’s not quite as good as the first, close though. One of the things I really liked about the story for this movie was that they finally showed where Po came from and showed his “origin story” if you will. They finally explained how a goose could have a Panda for a son.

It was great to see all those great characters back. Jack Black (Orange County, The Holiday) does the voice of Po the Panda. He is perfect for this role because if Jack Black was an animal, it’d probably be a panda. He does a great job with this voice and you can really tell he gets into this character. Sadly, I felt like everybody else in the movie was hardly there, the movie was mostly Po and Shen with other people chiming in every once in a while with something. Gary Oldman (Harry Potter, The Dark Knight) does the voice of Shen. If anybody could make a peacock sound evil, it’s Gary Oldman. The movie also features the voices of Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogan, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Dustin Hoffman, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Danny McBride, Michelle Yeoh, James Hong and more.

Kung Fu Panda 2 is a very well made sequel and is definitely worth watching if you are a fan of the first one. It really manages to hold up to the first movie. I am, however, worried about the rumor I heard that Dreamworks wants to make five more. I do have to say, the 3D is not worth it, just go see the 2D version, save some money.

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