Movie Review: Kung Fu Panda 2
Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years ago
Once upon a time in the year 2008, an animated film titled ‘KUNG FU PANADA’ was released, and took the world by storm. Oddly enough, prior to the film’s release, I will be honest and say I had ZERO interest. I’m a fan of Jack Black, as well as the rest of the cast, but there was something I felt was too superficial about it which made me believe it was simply JUST ANOTHER kiddie’s flick! Time went on, it was taken down from the theaters, and all I kept hearing was how awesome the film was. Months went on, and once its DVD was released, I bit the bullet, and decided to give this film my time. Not expecting much—as I usually approach most films—I watched it with an open mind, and I was blown away. It was one of the best animated films I had ever seen! Dipped with all sorts of comedic pacing, writing and cultural respect, what made me enjoy the film was the core of the story. What we, as a general audience learned, was that heroes come in all shapes and sizes, as Po (Jack Black) fulfills his destiny and became the ever-so-famous Dragon Warrior. I had some guilt seeing as I was pre-judging it, and when I allowed it to engrave itself within my system, I joined the millions who fell in love with the franchise!
With mention of a sequel in the works, I followed all sorts of news and articles pertaining to ‘KUNG FU PANDA 2’ wondering where they’d wind up taking the story. It has arrived and I had the privilege to have been invited to a press screening which quite frankly was one of the ones I was eagerly awaiting.
Stomping grounds once again, from DreamWorks Animation—the studio that brought you ‘HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON,’ ‘SHREK,’ and the Academy Award—and Golden Globe-nominated ‘KUNG FU PANDA’—comes the latest adventures of one of the most unlikely heroes ever to transition from noodle shop employee, to Kung fu master.
In ‘KUNG FU PANDA 2’ Po (Jack Black) is now living his dream as The Dragon Warrior, protecting the Valley of Peace alongside his pals and fellow Kung fu masters, The Furious Five: Tigress (Angelina Jolie); Monkey (Jackie Chan), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu), and Crane (David Cross). Also returning is Dustin Hoffman as the Kung fu guru and Po’s mentor, Master Shifu, and James Hong as Mr. Ping, Po’s father and owner of the most popular noodle shop in the village.
Po’s new life of awesomeness is threatened by the emergence of a formidable villain, Lord Shen (Gary Oldman), who plans to use a secret, unstoppable weapon to conquer China and destroy Kung fu. Po must look to his past and uncover the secrets of his mysterious origins—only then will he be able to unlock the strength he needs to succeed.
Once again, I was drawn to how amazingly beautiful this film turned out to become. There’s no way I can come up with any of my scathing remarks, as it wouldn’t fit, but also wouldn’t do this film any justice. Its style, sensibility, and format was well crafted, and opened the door to many people who I’m sure were in the audience feeling the exact same thing Po was feeling regarding questions as to ‘why’ things are the way they are. And stemming to what sets the film off is inspired by Po’s question as to why his dad is a goose. For Po it was logical to finally realize his father is not his biological father and seeks out his origins. While doing so, he learns his past is tied to Lord Shen. The peacock’s challenge is not random, it is the working of fate—something that also figures prominently in martial arts films, which once again lays much respect to a passionate Asian culture.
The moral to this version is acceptance, inner peace, and letting go of the past no matter how harsh.
Presented with pretty good 3D effects, its got lots of comedy, drama, heavy story-line, and stay focused as there’s a scene towards the end which CLEARLY hints at the idea of a third flick starring Po.