Kung Fu Panda 2 (PG)
Dir. Jennifer Yuh
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
The wise Soothsayer say: “Your story may not have such a happy beginning, but that doesn't make you who you are. it is the rest of your story, who you choose to be... So, who are you, Panda?”
If you saw the original Kung Fu Panda you’ll know that it was a great slab of quality computer animated that packed in exciting adventure, likeable characters and genuine funnies. Now the oversized ‘Dragon Warrior’ panda Po (Jack Black) is back and this time he must face down the evil Lord Shen (Gary Oldman) who was responsible for the murder of his parents.
The good news is that Kung Fu Panda 2 delivers everything you want in a sequel – the cast of high-end celebrity voice talent step up and work to bring their characters to stunning CGI life. Director Jennifer Yuh is clearly on a mission to make sure that the quality control is kept to ‘max’ – the plot is well thought out and delves into the back story of the legendary warrior whilst also moving it forward. My youngest son James loved every moment of it – proclaiming it to be “even better than the first one.”
Lord Shen makes a worthy adversary as a metal-feathered peacock who has mastered the destructive art of making cannons and plans to use them to take of all of China. It falls to Po and his ‘Furious Five’ pals to try and save the country – and kung fu which is under threat from the new weapons of mass destruction.
There is a sub plot involving the need to find inner peace, only through which can victory be achieved – which is easier said than done when the whole country is looking to you to save them. The writers manage to keep it bouncing along at a good pace and don’t labour the messaging in the way that Disney and co tend to.
Kung Fu Panda 2 is a great family friendly film that rivals the likes of PIXAR in delivering a nicely balanced experience which can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Po is on his way to becoming an animated movie icon with his loveable brand of lunacy. You might not love Jack Black but here he channels just the right level of stupidity and heart in order to win the hearts and minds of viewers.
Get some more Kung Fu in your life.
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(3.5 - big laughs, big action - all good)...
Awesomeness ööö – even Jack Black can't screw up this one
Laughs öööö – Funny delivered to your eyeballs
Horror ö – only nasty if you have a fear of peacocks
Babes ö – nope, move along
Spiritual Enlightenment ööö – find your inner peace if you want to kick ass!