Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kung Fu Panda 2- review

...That's what she said!
            I seriously went into this movie without many expectations.  Though, I suppose that is good for a critic.  The first film was okay.  I thought the message was cute. I really enjoyed the father Goose, and the message of there being no secret ingredient.  It was a cute tale.  But it also had story issues that were bizarre choices.  Like why was the leopard villain such a super villain that he could take on an entire army?  If he was not destined to become the dragon warrior who cares if he got the dragon scroll; especially if it’s blank?

Okay Dr. Jones. Hold on to your potato.
            But plot holes aside it was a good movie.  The sequel was I think a better movie.  The villain this time is Lord Shen, a peacock who is reminds me a lot of a mix between the Skexis of “Dark Crystal” and Saruman of “Lord of the Rings”.  His motivations are almost biblical, in that it is almost a spot on plot Xerox of Exodus from the Bible.  Still with the production value brought to us in part by Guillermo del Toro we can see that this can give the tale it’s own originality and even go into some dark territory where needed.

Gary Oldman as the villain! In what media?!
            Po, the Panda voiced by Jack Black is back and is actually pretty damn funny as the fanboy still in awe of the Furious Five.  He knows a lot more Kung Fu though since we last saw him and he seems very hungry to fight for justice.  This time the drama stems from him finding out that he is adopted.  I am a big fan of the father character so the scenes that involve the two of them really shine for me.  When he discovers that Lord Shen has knowledge of his past he must wrestle with his own inner peace to battle a devious warlord who seeks to end Kung Fu and rule China.

            For the most part DreamWorks is not the best when it comes to the animation department.  Their best stuff was the “Shrek” series and even that started to get stale after a bit.  This one is a diamond in the rough.  It reminds me a bit of the old “Disney’s Robin Hood” with the anthropomorphic animal characters.  All in all I totally recommend “Kung Fu Panda 2” and hope that if you watch it you smile as much as I did the whole time.

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