Kung Fu Panda 2 was okay, it was not as funny as the first one. Still, this one was so unpredictable it’s sort of funny. Also,if you’re one of those people that likes a lot of action in movies, you should like this movie. Kids 6 years-10 years would love this movie.
The movie is basically about a fat panda named Po and a group of animals called the Furious Five who try to defeat an evil peacock. Also, Po tries to find information about his parents.
I highly recommend this movie.
I didn’t see the original Kung Fu Panda, so I didn’t know anything going into the movie, and frankly I had low expectations (Jack Black being the leading name here; Angelina Jolie says like 50 words the entire movie, I don’t know why she’s billed so highly). The movie plays on all the expected plotlines– achieving a state of zen/ inner peace, a wise sensei, defeating the bad guy with the power you have inside, etc.
I didn’t expect such mind-blowingly lovely animation, particularly in the long landscape shots. I did expect mind-blowing action sequences and I was not disappointed.
The sub-plot centers on Po’s search for who he really is, as he was adopted by a kindly goose (Mr. Ping), perfectly voiced by James Hong (who appeared in the Kung Fu tv series, but is probably most universally recognized as the Chinese restaurant guy on Seinfeld). I found this storyline to be surprisingly poignant and may have wiped away a tear or two (Cassidy was very affected by what actually happened to Po’s parents). The topic of fighting for a cause is touched on in a way that resonated with me but would probably be missed by most kid viewers.
I was less than impressed with Po’s apparent conclusion that his heritage is unimportant in comparison to the life he led and the family he found and created for himself:
You’ve got to let go of that stuff from the past because it just doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is what you choose to be now.
but it looks like a 3rd movie is definitely being planned that will address that point.
It’s a movie that tries to be deep, and sometimes nearly achieves that, but then quickly backs off and covers up with food jokes and embarrassed laughter and cool action sequences. I did enjoy it very much, but it could have been a lot more and inspired a lot of interesting questions with the kids. I left feeling rankled.
All in all, I’d give it a B+ for visual candy, a decent plot and for the character of Mr. Ping. Who I freaking loved.
Be warned, the backstory of what happened to Po’s parents is kind of rough and caused Cass to dissolve in hiccuppy tears. The Jack Black brand of crass humor is mostly limited to food jokes and not terrible. Highly watchable, but may provoke hard questions from thoughtful kids.