Kung Fu Panda 2 - The Review
They were lazy in re-introducing the old characters because they have already been introduced in the first movie. In order to keep Po’s character fresh, they inserted the “finding oneself” story arc and they were able to combine this with Po’s current nemesis. I’ve seen that arc a ton of times before and I would have hoped they did things differently.
|This is Po trying to store 40 dumplings in his mouth.|
But fuck everything I said because Kung Fu Panda 2 is AWESOME!
Actually, it was hard to find flaws in the movie if you are a fan of the franchise. Po is back with Master Shifu and the Furious Five and they battle a new enemy in the form of Lord Shen. Technically, Shen is not a new enemy for Po but...
*** SPOILER ALERT!!! ***
... in some ways, Shen had a hand in the orphaning of Po. When Lord Shen wanted to rule the whole of China, Po and the others are tasked to stop Lord Shen’s evil plans. The two got reunited with each other in the process.
The inner peace story arc kind of serves as the development of Po as the Dragon Warrior and while it seems minor and cheesy at the start, it becomes essential in the end. One thing good about the movie is that it lets the viewers experience Po’s growth as well as his relationships with the rest of the major characters. The stupidity of Po not knowing that he is adopted is dumb yet adorable. The interaction of Po and his goose dad is nice... although it did made Shifu’s character a little less important at the midway point of the story. Tigress showing sensitivity is nice and yet awkward... while I like how Mantis got character by frequently saying that his dad got killed by his mom and he wants to find a girl mantis and settle down so the girl mantis could eat his head. Crane had instances of comedic clusterfuck while Monkey and Viper were mere tools to add comic relief (Monkey) and that caring feminine side that Tigress struggle on (Viper).
By the way, the McDonalds Happy Meal toys are awesome!
The kid version of Po is freakishly adorable and it brought a lot of ooh’s and ahh’s in the cinema house. The cuteness was at its peak when Goose was describing Po’s infant stage. While dumbness exudes Po’s aura, the audience can connect whenever Po gets sidetracked or sad or overly dramatic. As established in the first movie, the people’s attachment to Po is so strong that it’s easy for them to rally for him.
|THE AURA OF CUTENESS EXIST IN THIS PIC!!!|
As for the new guys, Lord Shen is awesome. Unlike Po’s past enemy, Shen thinks and has this megalomania in his veins that makes him the perfect bad guy. Shen has plans but is a bit simple-minded especially if he thinks a couple of single shot cannons could give him the grasp of the whole of China. I actually like Shen when he interacts with most of the characters. The Wolf Boss is a great character too. I love it when he describes Po as that adorable and cuddly fighter. The Soothsayer was an important part of the story and it looks as if she’ll be back for the last instalment unless they get rid of her. The two masters, Ox and Croc, could have been worked better but they did add a bit of dimension in the movie. The Rhino was killed off before his character would even develop.
Jack Black owned Po. It seems that whatever mannerisms Po had, Black was already doing it. His timing and delivery were spot on in creating the laughs in the movie. I was laughing my ass off when Po was doing a speech about his “fists of justice” and Lord Shen doesn’t get what Po was trying to say because he was very, very far away. Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman, James Hong, Seth Rogen, Michelle Yeoh, Dennis Haysbert, and Danny McBride had nice lines to work on while hopefully Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Victor Garber, and Jean Claude Van Damme would have better material to work if and when they return.
Again I’m saying kudos to Oldman because for a guy who is known to be a serious actor, he is seriously funny especially when Lord Shen breaks character.
Actually if there was something that should piss me off in this movie, it’s the fact that I thought I can hear more from Van Damme. Fact is, his character looks like Master Ox’s sidekick. It would have been better if he Danny McBride’s job and made the Wolf Boss a bit stronger.
But nonetheless, I really, REALLY enjoyed the movie. The 3D viewing is an added element but even if I watched it in my laptop, I will still enjoy the flick. The colors are cool and while I puke at over-action, I was entertained to whatever butt-kicking the Dragon Warrior wants to do.
Also, at the end of the movie, we get a hint that there will be a third installment of the franchise.
Hopefully the next movie will be awesome.