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Kung Fu Panda 2

A 2011 movie directed by Jennifer Yuh.

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Kung Fu Panda 2

  • May 29, 2011
Po returns to battle evil with his improved kung-fu skills and this time he will be rocking out in another dimension of awesomeness. Dreamworks, never one to let a franchise die until the last drop of profit and respect is drained out of the series, plans to make this a six-part series. While an action movie can usually extend itself as long as it has a credible threat from a powerful villain, one can't help but think how many times you could hear Jack Black as a panda. Well on the plus side, two is not that number because it is still fun to hear his voice behind this butt-kicking bear.

Po returns with the aid of the furious five as Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Viper (Lucy Liu), Mantis (Seth Rogan), and Crane (David Cross) are set to do battle with a peacock. One may ask how a peacock can be considered a credible threat; the answer is easy: give him the mind and voice of Gary Oldman. And with the development of fire power he plans to put an end to kung-fu and conquer all of China. Now that is one evil peacock.

At times the story seems over run with characters and there is just not enough screen time for all of them. The Furious Five seem to have been combined into one character with Jolie doing most of the talking for the group. If Jackie Chan says more than three lines of dialogue I would be surprised. While we may not hear from many of the characters from the original, the new characters leave their mark, namely the aforementioned peacock and Michelle Yeoh as The Soothsayer.

Also infectious is Jack Black who seems to be the perfect fit as the hero. Po still seems to be an awe of his skill and action. His character can't seem to believe that he is living out the fantasies he once acted out with action figures in his bedroom. His character doesn't seem to be allowed to riff anymore but maybe that is because the original writing team decided to deal with his parental issues so he has a lot more on his panda shoulders.

Po's quest to find his birth parents and who he really is allows the movie to mature a little bit and distance itself from the goofiness of the last movie. For those of you bringing the children along, the memory flashbacks can be a lot to take in and may even spark some questions from the youngsters. Not that this should be a deterrent, and not that we see anyone actually get hurt but it should be noted they do let loose on this part of the story and allow it to become a little dark, and for the really little ones these scenes can be intense. Rest assured everything works out because this is still a kid’s movie and lest we forget they are trying to make another four of these movies.

Besides realizing the need for a good plot to go with their talking animals, Dreamworks is one of the few studios that really know how to properly take advantage of 3-D. They were able to do it in 'How to Train Your Dragon' and do a good job with it again. There are some classic moves of things flying out at the audience, but it also enhances the Chinese landscape. The most effective use of the technique is the end credits and the flashbacks, the artists do a great job enhancing these scenes. The soundtrack also does a wonderful job to enhance the tension and inner peace our protagonist finds in the film. While I was watching I couldn't help but be impressed and then I found out that Hans Zimmer did the score and suddenly it all made sense, the man knows what he is doing.

'Kung Fu Panda' does a fine job entertaining the audience with a new story from a loveable character. It is easy to revert to the last movie and take all the points that were successful from the original and apply it to the new movie (read: Hangover 2), but the second Panda movie decides to branch out and try something new and I think it works. The fireworks fly in this movie and it is always a treat to find a movie that both children and parents can enjoy. B

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May 30, 2011
Great review and I liked this a little more than you did I think though I really liked your observations. Your commentary about the Furious Five almost being used as one entity is spot on now that I think about it. I liked this since it felt a little more mature and I liked that about it. The villain definitely wasn't subtle in his wickedness. Thanks!
More Kung Fu Panda 2 reviews
review by . May 28, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Skadoooshhh!! The Return of Awwwessoommmeee Panda-Monium!!
I have to admit that I was one of those who were pleasantly surprise how “Kung Fu Panda” in 2008 may have surpassed Dreamworks’ much praised animated movie “Shrek”. It was just a piece of creative wonder that combined Chinese martial arts sensibilities, action, quirky comedy and a well-rounded story with Jack Black’s fast-talking humor and eccentricity, enveloped in a good-natured manner. While I was prepared for the worst, (animated movie sequels usually never …
review by . June 28, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Was I the only one a little disturbed by the scene in the first Kung Fu Panda where Po's father told us the lineage of his noodle stand? You know, where he said he got it from his father, who got it from his father, who got it from his father, who were all geese? And in the fourth picture, the animal was finally changed, but it turned out the stand was won in a game of chance? And we wondered just how Po got to be a Panda? Well, Kung Fu Panda 2 gives the answer to that question.     I …
review by . June 07, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     When all is said and done, I suppose that I must applaud "Kung Fu Panda 2" for being a better sequel than it really needs to be. Many sequels both animated and not release each year; most of them failing to deliver. "Kung Fu Panda 2" may not be great, but as animated entertainment, it serves its purpose rather superbly. It's definitely a recommendation for those who appreciate animated films, and those who enjoyed the first film will probably find plenty to …
review by . June 03, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
When an animated movie hits the right note for me, it really knocks it out of the park. I’ve sat through my fair share of awful animated movies, and when one screws up the formula, it’s really hard to sit through. You can see the resolution coming a mile away, and the jokes that fail to hit the golden balance between kids and adults makes you want to jump out of a window. Thankfully, Kung Fu Panda 2 is a classic benchmark for efficiently mixing humor, action, and a hybrid sort of story …
review by . May 29, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Kung Fu Panda 2 is a deeply involving 3D animated film, although (and this should come as no surprise to you) it has little to do with the 3D, a consistently disappointing process if ever there was one. Firstly, like its 2008 predecessor, it’s simply a lot of fun. There’s sheer exuberance to the characters, the vocal performances, and the animation – the latter especially, since there are plenty of gravity-defying martial arts …
review by . June 14, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   PG - 90mins - Animation/Action/Adventure - 10th June 2011    Po (Jack Black) returns in another kung fu animation adventure which sees our ever hungry panda face up to a new and devastating threat in the form of angry albino peacock (Gary Oldman) Lord Shen. Having been cast out by his parents years before for his atrocities, Shen has been biding his time returning with a new technology that threatens to enable him to conquer China.      Po is joined once …
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Kung Fu Panda 2 is a American 3D 2011 computer-animated action comedy film and the sequel to the 2008 film Kung Fu Panda. The cast of the original film reprised their voice roles. The film was released on May 26, 2011 in Real D 3D and Digital 3D.
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Director: Jennifer Yuh
Genre: Action, Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family
Release Date: 26 May 2011 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG
Screen Writer: Glenn Berger, Jonathan Aibel
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