Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Review - Kung Fu Panda 2

I have an issue with Jack Black. Not a major issue like hatred or anything. It’s just… Most of his movies are the same. It involves a man-child whose living a life under a rock until something happens that shake said life and the man-child needs to grow up and deal with the issues. Sometimes I think he is not really acting but just being himself. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. For the most part, I did enjoy some of his movies. Like School of Rock. And of course, Kung Fu Panda.

So of course, when Kung Fu Panda 2 comes out, I was excited to see it. The first Kung Fu Panda was quite a good movie. It had comedy, action, drama and lots of slapstick, courtesy of Po.

In the first movie, Po was just an ordinary panda that was working at his father’s noodle shop but has big dreams about being a kung fu master. He got his chance when he crashed a ceremony and was named the Dragon Warrior. Nobody believed he was actually the Dragon Warrior, until he defeated Shenlong, once in line for the title.

Now, Po is back with more awesomeness. This time, Lord Shen, a peacock gone mad, is hell bent on taking over the world with a new weapon that uses the technology of fireworks and metal and obliterating kung fu. Po and the Furious Five are called to put the kibosh on his plans.

This was a nice progression, storyline-wise, from the first movie to the second movie. Especially with the addition of Po’s muddled past. The Furious Five all have had their back stories told via the short animated film years back.

And they way they tie it to the current villain was quite nice too. Years ago, a soothsayer predicted that a warrior of black and white will stop Lord Shen. Lord Shen then did something about it, to stop the prophecy from coming to pass.

The voice acting was on top form, like in the first movie as well. Besides an all-star cast of Jack Black (Po), Angelina Jolie (Tigress), Lucy Liu (Viper), Jackie Chan (Monkey), Seth Rogen (Mantis), David Cross (Crane), Dustin Hoffman (Shifu), we now have Michelle Yeoh as the Soothsayer, Gary Oldman as Lord Shen, Danny McBride as the Wolf Boss, Dennis Haysbert as Master Ox, Jean-Claude Van Damme as Master Croc and Victor Garber as Master Rhino.

Like the first movie, this movie has comedy, action, drama and lots of slapstick. But as the curse of sequels go, The Kaboom of Doom could not really match Kung Fu Panda’s level.

However, I do find the part where Po needed rescuing from the Furious Five a lot a bit grating on the nerves. No, I am not talking about the group attack. Plenty of times, he needed to be saved by Tigress or someone. He’s supposed to be the Dragon Warrior. I get that his training was the shortest of all of them but it just seemed like he was relying too much on the others. Other than that, it’s a fun movie. :)