Thursday, December 15, 2011

Kung Fu Panda 2

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Kung Fu Panda 2 - 4 out of 5

When I watched the first adventure of Po, the panda who learns Kung Fu (wait, is that how they got the title?  Also, can we see a cross-over with The Matrix sometime to see Neo and Po fight?), I was definitely entertained.  Did I think a sequel was really necessary?  Probably not but the movie made money and it's animated so it was pretty much a given that we would see a second round to Kung Fu Panda.  But you know what?  I really enjoyed this one.

I think that goose is drunk.


Kung Fu Panda 2 takes place not long after the first film.  Po is a national hero and loved by all but little does he know, a dastardly man from his past--a man he doesn't even know or realize the impact he's had on his life--is back and out to take over China with a powerful new weapon that is better than Kung Fu.  This evil man?  Actually, he's a peacock named Shen--but he's still evil!  How evil?  He wiped out all of the pandas in China because a prophecy claimed that a warrior of black and white would destroy him.  Of course, he missed one and now the prophecy is about to come true as Po and his friends seek out to stop the mad peacock.


The creative name department at Dreamworks that named the tiger Tigress also named Mantis (the mantis), Viper (a snake), Crane (a crane) and Monkey (you get the idea)--but you already know them because they were in the last one.  All the familiar voice actors from the first one have returned.  Jack Black is once again Po with Angelina Jolie backing him up as the sleek and fierce Tigress. Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Dustin Hoffman, Lucy Lui, David Cross and James Hong are all back but a tip of my hat must go to Gary Oldman who provides the voice of Shen and his performance, utilizing only his vocal chords, is just as amazing as watching him use his body language as well.  Seriously, is there any role Oldman can't do?

He can play Commissioner Gordon and a peacock?!?


Epic shot of a coming battle or jumping away from
an explosion?  I don't know but it looks cool.
Along with a great cast of voice actors, the animation delivered in this film is fantastic and the comedy in it is even better.  I chuckled throughout the film and, on more than one occasion, my sides were on the verge of splitting when the movie would throw a curve ball at you and replace the usual high-jinx in an animated movie and give you a clever, witty gag that is so brilliant, you would think Pixar did it.  However, there were a couple things working against this one.  Mainly, the story is rushed and feels kinda clumsy as it rapidly gets going and occasionally feels like it doesn't know where it's heading.  Also, the film has too many characters and most are just put in the background and forgotten about.  For example, there are two Kung Fu Masters in this film that don't really do much.  You have Master Ox (voice by President Palmer himself; Dennis Haysbert) and Master Croc (voice by Jean-Claude Van Damme).  These two come in and out of the film and, honestly, don't really have much significance on the story.  But this doesn't come as much of a surprise as even the members in Po's clan are used sparingly.  Tigress and Po hog the limelight and occasionally the others are used...except Viper--you nearly never see her.

This is about all you get from Master Croc and Master Ox.

The Dreamworks smile.
So, the story is clumsy and they overfilled the cast of characters and forgot to use most of them.  This is Dreamworks, not Pixar.  Aside from How to Train Your Dragon, I don't really expect perfection from Dreamworks.  I just expect talking animals who all make the same smile in their promotional items and a few good jokes.  And you know what?  I got that and a little more with Kung Fu Panda 2.  The voice acting is awesome and it made me laugh all the way through.  What more could you want?  Maybe a million dollars and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich but for now, I'll take the fun movie.

2 comments:

  1. As much as I am not a fan of his movies, Jack Black is perfect for the voice of Po. There were some parts that had me rolling on the floor! I am definitely looking forward to seeing this movie again soon! I used my Blockbuster Movie Pass to rent this movie. In addition to being able to stream movies to my TV, I can also choose from thousands of DVDs like Kung Fu Panda 2 online or I can always take the movie to the Blockbuster store and exchange it for another movie. From my experience working for DISH and using the $10 a month Blockbuster Movie Pass, I have become familiar with the Pass, and it is better than any other movie provider I’ve had. Kung Fu Panda is on my list to watch again, and I would say its definitely worth seeing!

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  2. Thank you for the Blockbuster Movie Pass Commercial.

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