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Kung Fu Panda 2

A 2011 movie directed by Jennifer Yuh.

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A good sequel with charm, humor, wit, and a surprisingly touching back-story.

  • Jun 7, 2011
*** 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 admire here as well.

I liked "Kung Fu Panda" for its sense of humor, its beautiful animation, and its references to the influence of Chinese folklore and culture. Just like its predecessor, "Kung Fu Panda 2" is lush, colorful; funny and completely entertaining. I like the sequel for all the same reasons that I liked the first film, although this time, more of an emphasis has been put on the plot.

Leaving off from the first film, we still have one big question regarding Po the Panda (Jack Black) and his history. His father is clearly a goose, although until he has a premonition (whilst fighting an evil wolf), Po has never questioned his father and his origins. He learns that he was adopted, but must worry about other matters when Lord Shen (Gary Oldman), an evil homicidal peacock, makes plans to take over all of China.

Po and the Furious Five, consisting of: Tigris (Angelina Jolie), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu), Crane (David Cross), and Monkey (Jackie Chan), go on a journey to stop Shen and his evil plan. Carrying with him the knowledge of his master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) as well as the love of his father, Po confronts his past and stares it in the face.

The reason I see this sequel as a superior effort, in plot, is because the back-story of Po is a surprisingly dark and somewhat deep one. That's not to say that it makes for a great story, but it does make for a worth-while one. The film does its job because when it's not telling its story, "Kung Fu Panda 2" is being a fun little action movie, quite like the first one.

That being said, the animation also looks pretty magnificent, the voice work is nice (Jean-Claude Van Damme, Danny McBride, and Dennis Haysbert all lend significantly interesting and amusing vocal work). Overall, this panda is a worthy one. It was fun to watch, it felt good, and I can't really say it has flaws except for the story, which as I said, is good, but not good enough to be memorable. Of course, you could just say the same for the movie and then dismiss it forever, but I'm not the kind of person to shun good entertainment, because that is what "Kung Fu Panda 2" is.

Look. "Kung Fu Panda 2" is what it is. It guarantees a good time to those with open hearts, open minds, and open imaginations for works such as these (in animated filmmaking). It's not a genre classic, but it doesn't need to be, and while Po's latest journey is a flawed one, it's still one worth a solid recommendation. I won't say it's a definite "improvement" on the first film, but I admire the effort that was put into making the film as effective and funny as it is.

As always, it's a pleasure to watch Jack Black in this voice role. He fits his character perfectly; and he plays him flawlessly. When this kind of thing happens, then you know that you have a fairly good movie on your hands, if not a great one. "Kung Fu Panda 2" is like most sequels; it ends on a note that could lead to a third film. However, unlike most sequels, this third "Kung Fu Panda" film is one that I'm fairly excited to see, and I shall leave it at that.

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June 09, 2011
quite a thorough breakdown indeed. I liked this film quite a lot but I have to say that the original is a little better in regards to the direction. Nice review!
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 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
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, …
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 …
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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About this movie


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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