Thoughts on Kung Fu Panda 2…

(No Spoilers ahead, except for Kung Fu Panda Original)

So I had gone and seen Kung Fu Panda 2 just a day ago. I was a big fan of the original movie made by Dreamworks.  Everything in that movie just meshed so well and it stands up great to multiple viewings.  The original being about a big fat panda, Po who was unhappy with his humdrum life of serving noodles, aspiring to be like the Furious Five, a group of fearless Kung Fu warriors.  Through trials and tribulations, Po becomes the Dragon Warrior that was destined of him.  The Dragon Warrior being a special type of warrior amongst the Kung Fu masters.  Think of it like Link from the Legend of Zelda series or The Slayer from the Buffy series.  I like how the movie treats Po.

In fact, I think that is why I loved both movies.  Because while it has all these lines like this: “He fell from the sky on a ball of fire”.  Sounds mythical and powerful right?  Well, the reality is, Po fell from the sky after trying to get over a wall with a bunch of fireworks strapped to a chair because he was late for the ceremony of the Furious Five and the picking of the Dragon Warrior.  Not so great eh?  “He is a warrior like no other” which is another line.  Again, it is literally true as there are no other Panda warriors that you see in the movie.  And he isn’t the typical kind of warrior, but yet his uniqueness gives him an edge that the other masters of Kung Fu do not have.

So suffice to say, I just loved the first one.  It had great characters, a good story and a lot of fun with itself.  Jack Black does an awesome job as Po and so did the rest of the rather heavy star-studded cast.  I had fairly big hopes for the sequel and it stays true to the original without running into the sequel-writing problem.  It avoids using a lot of the catch phrases that Po used in the original, or at the very least used them in a new clever way.  The story is new and original and I was rather surprised how dark the movie got and yet still fun. I also liked that Po didn’t always win the fights as this tends to happen with bad-ass in the sequels.

Oh and I should say that Kung Fu Panda 2’s plot is “Po joins forces with a group of new kung-fu masters to take on an old enemy with a deadly new weapon”. The comradeship between the Furious Five and Po is nicely done and seems realistic.  Nothing feels forced and it has a very natural flow.   The animation, the music and the story were well done in this movie.  And the voice actors never feel like they are phoning it in, making it all feel tight. It is an epic roller coaster of emotions as you follow their journey to fight this new threat.  The action is even better than the original with some really epic scenes of China and explosions and pretty colors ;).

Its great how well done this sequel was and that it wasn’t just shoved out the door for maximum amount of $$.  It has humor, its dark yet light and if you liked the original, I think you will like the sequel just as well.

And that’s it!  This summer is a hot-hot-hot summer with plenty of movies, but definitely give Kung Fu Panda 2 a look.  🙂

-King Isaac Linksr

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