Awesomeness is back and this time it's lost a bit of weight….haha well at least Po's father seems to think so. Kung Fu Panda 2 is the sequel to the 2008 film Kung Fu Panda. The first film was released in June 2008, and by the following October, the studio DreamWorks Animation announced plans for a second film. The director, Jennifer Yuh Nelson, who was head of story for the first film, was the first woman to solely direct an animated feature from a major Hollywood studio.
The original film's cast members Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan and David Cross reprise their voice roles and they are joined by the likes of Gary Oldman, Michelle Yeoh, Victor Garber and Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Long ago, Lord Shen (Gary Oldman), heir to the peacock clan that ruled Gongmen City, sought to harness the power of fireworks as a weapon with which to rule China. When he learned from the court's goat soothsayer (Michelle Yeoh) that "a warrior of black and white" would one day defeat him, Shen assumed she was referring to the giant pandas and had them exterminated to avert the prophecy. Shen's parents were horrified at this atrocity and exiled Shen, who vowed to return.
Years later, Po (Jack Black) is living his dream as the Dragon Warrior, protecting the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung fu masters the Furious Five, but Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) tells him he has yet to achieve inner peace. While fighting off a pack of wolf bandits who have been stealing refined metal for Lord Shen, Po is distracted by a symbol on the head wolf's (Danny McBride) armor, which causes Po to have a flashback of his mother and allows the wolves to escape. Po asks his goose father, Mr. Ping (James Hong), where he came from, but all Ping can tell him is that he found Po as an infant in a vegetable crate and adopted him.
While the first movie was more about Po searching and going on a quest to be a hero, the sequel does lean towards more of a comedy. Watching Po on screen is just adorable and I'm sure the girls especially liked the scenes which depicted an infant Po who looked so cuddly and cute.
It seems that with this sequel Po is on a different journey of sorts which is familar in all Kung Fu movies, the hero is always on a journey but the movie offers a lot as a comedy with some moments we were waiting to happen all along like the "shocking" discovery that Mr Ping (the Goose) is not Po's real father…haha!
Action sequences are plenty and the 3-D production is well done to add that sparkle this film deserves.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Good punches throughout the film and especially appealing for the big children!
Kung Fu Panda 2 opens in cinemas 26 May
Photos courtesy of United International Pictures
POPCulture Online June 2011 All Rights Reserved