Kung Fu Panda 2

6 Jun

Every sequel/trilogy comes with its own dosage of circumspect. Too often have there been brilliant movies ruined by mediocre sequels cashing in on the wave of popularity. While talking about such movies, Shrek comes to mind. But then we do have gems like Toy Story 3 (review) that manage to close the chapter with perfection (with a red bow on top). Fortunately or not, Kung Fu Panda 2 falls somewhere in the middle.

Po (voiced by Jack Black) is now an integral part of the Furious Five fighting crime (and weight loss) under the supervision of Master ‘I am so awesomely calm’ Shifu (voiced by Dustin Hoffman). Po continues to entertain with random enthusiastic phrases and his lack of stamina (he gets carried/pushed quite often) along with his unorthodox ‘squishy cuddly’ style of kung fu.

Shen (voiced by Gary Oldman)

With a back story about the villain Shen (voiced by Gary Oldman) who desires to conquer the whole of China to get things rolling, the film revolves around how Po must search his muddled past that is scarred by a certain symbol to find out who he is and where he came from while trying to attain inner peace and beat Shen at the same time. A done and dusted formula that honestly always works if carried out the right way, and DreamWorks managed that with aplomb.

Baby Po *adorable*

Jack Black once again shines as Po with his variable voice tones of ecstasy to sorrow that helps the viewers plunge right into the action. Baby Po is truly adorable in a ‘huggable teddy bear’ way. Mr. Ping (voiced by James Hong) as Po’s father was a bit of a surprise adding a lot of heart to the film. The emotional scenes he shared with Po were almost tear-jerkingly good. The other four characters of the Furious Five apart from the Tigress (voiced by Angelina Jolie) are almost missing from the action and dialogues, which is a waste of talents like Jackie Chan (Monkey) and Seth Rogen (Mantis). Master Shifu’s role seemed more like a special appearance as he was just featured at beginning and the climax of the film.

Tigress (voiced by Angelina Jolie)

With most of the previously adored characters sidelined, you’d be worried if this has become just a one man show. But that wasn’t the case because the creators chose to introduce equally interesting new characters. Shen, the evil ‘shooting feathers steel clawed’ peacock is a beautifully sketched out character with shades of fear of the black and white creature. The fortune teller goat, Soothsayer’s (voiced by Michelle Yeoh) funny antics that always kept Shen on the edge were amusing. Master Rhino (voiced by Victor Garber) was a well controlled act with ample support from Master Croc (voice by Jean-Claude Van Damme). It’s not often that the evil side kick manages to get noticed but the Wolf Boss (voiced by Danny McBride) manages to stand out with his comical chemistry with Po.

Po (voiced by Jack Black) and Wolf Boss(voiced by Danny McBride)

DreamWorks animation is spot on with everything being pixar perfect even in mostly annoying 3D. There are plenty of wide and close shots of both the scenery and the action, giving the viewer the complete picture. The soundtrack is spot on for both the action and the emotional scenes with the first action sequence standing out due to its integration with the action itself.

Monkey (voiced by Jackie Chan), Po and Tigress

It’s not all a happy story though. Po with his phrases does get a little tedious by the end of the movie and his comic acts a little humdrum. More could have also been done with the rest of the Furious Five characters because they did have abundance of screen time. The story was in comparison to the original was a letdown to be honest, even with all the emotions thrown in. And lastly Po looked thinner and that annoyed me for some reason.

Overall, highly recommended movie to any animation fan because no one else manages to pass humour during a serious scene like Po does. *Skadoosh!*


2 Responses to “Kung Fu Panda 2”

  1. Rohit June 6, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    Swear by the ‘hat’ of Po….awesome review my friend!

    Loved the movie a lot! Skadooosh indeed!

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