‘Kung Fu Panda 2’ Movie Review from Cinema Static – Cool Fun

by on May 27, 2011

in Entertainment, movie reviews

Movie Review

Kung Fu Panda 2 continues the fun we came to appreciate in the first movie, but now, we have a developed, trained Po (Jack Black), who embodies the essence of Kung Fu. It’s fun and if you’re pondering if you should do the 2D or 3D experience, I’d suggest the 3D version. I’ll tell you why below.

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KUNG FU PANDA 2

KUNG FU PANDA 2 - Jack Black as Po

Jack Black as Po

Kung Fu Panda 2, produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures, stars the voice power of Jack Black as our last surviving Kung Fu hero Panda named Po. Black is joined by the other voices of Angelina Jolie as Tigress, Dustin Hoffman (Shifu), Gary Oldman (Shen), Jackie Chan (Monkey), Seth Rogen (Mantis), Lucy Liu (Viper), David Cross (Crane), Dennis Haysbert (Master Ox), Jean-Claude Van Damme (Master Croc) and lots more.

I previously questioned in one of my “weekly new movies at the box office” article if a new director, Jennifer Yuh, could pull it off, but being an animated feature, I didn’t know how to compare. Yuh did just fine if you ask me!

The first 2008 film had caught my attention when it hit HBO channel and I caught it on the ‘On Demand’ section… a few times. It was a fun little movie that embodies struggling against self-doubt and embracing what you are meant to do or who you really are. And it never got old, regardless of how many times I watched it.

KUNG FU PANDA 2 - Angelina Jolie as Tigress

Angelina Jolie as Tigress

Kung Fu Panda 2 (FYI, pronounced gung foo, if you like being literal) finds Po having settled into his Dragon Master role of life appropriately… as we find him accepting addolation cooly, representing good by going off and defeating evil when the time calls for it and, well, being good at what he’s good at… eating!

Yet as his story continues in this new chapter, Po is confronted with a new and larger threat to China and Kung Fu, in the form of a disgraced and evil old Kung Fu master, Lord Shen (Oldman).

Mantis:

And here I was hoping to meet a girl, settle down and get my head bitten off.

The film continued with the charm and fun that the first movie delivered. Because the first one was an origins film of Po, it had an extra edge with the development of the character so this sequel didn’t actually give us something bigger than the first one, but it continued the pure fun of animated, butt-kicking Kung Fu and the great character interactions of Po and the Furious Five. We also get to learn a little bit more about Tigress, who I am coming to understand as being the actual tactical mind of the Five. She is just awesome!

It’s obvious to me that in this new movie of Kung Fu Panda, Po isn’t necessarily an actual master of the art but rather he embodies it with his own style and the aura of Kung Fu embraces Po. It’s kind of like air. It’s all around us but we can’t see it yet we’re affected by it via wind, the temperature and such.

KUNG FU PANDA 2 - director Jennifer Yuh

director Jennifer Yuh

Story execution, for a cartoon, was wonderful. The voice of Oldman as Shen, well, was lost in the character projection. (That’s a good thing!)

There were some great laugh-out-loud moments and, um, if you’re a softee at heart, there might be a moment or two that captures your soul a bit more than you might expect. So brace yourself…. if you know, if you’re a bit soft-hearted. No… not me… I was fine. Just sayin’!

In the end, it’s a wonderful bit of closure and they have definitely left you with a closing scene that totally opens the door to a Kung Fu Panda 3. I wouldn’t mind a third movie at all!

On the Cinema Static Movie Scale, I’d give Kung Fu Panda 2 a Popcorn 10!!!

Kung Fu Panda 2 Movie Trailer

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On Seeing Kung Fu Panda 2 3D

Many years ago I was stunned when I found that animated films took full advantage of my home surround-sound system much better than any live-action films did. With that in mind, though I don’t go see animated movies, I thought I’d give KFP2 3D a try, being that I loved the fun of the first one and that I had a hunch about a well done animated feature in 3D

I had this hunch because of a 3D movie trailer I had seen for Rio when I hit up Tron: Legacy 3D. It looked awesome in 3D.

Good call on my part!

In fact, I think I may actually ponder new animated features to see in 3D. 3D adds an entirely new depth to watching “cartoons.” They’re no longer flat, but in 3D they become immersive experiences that make the animated environment a real pleasure to watch and experience. As I suspected, like surround sound, 3D takes total advantage of animation. Nice job DreamWorks Animation. Nice job indeed.

I caught Kung Fu Panda 2 in 3D because of my hunch, and I was happier for it. I think if anything, 3D is an exceptional method of experiencing animation. So if you and the family are balancing out whether to drop a few extra hard earned dollars of yours, I’d recommend it. Go for it! I think the kids will totally love it and you, the supervising adult, will appreciate the film that much more.

A Kung Fu Panda 2 Behind the Scenes bit:

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