May 23, 2011

Movie Review: Kung Fu Panda 2

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Kung Fu Panda 2 Movie poster image

On Saturday, I took BabyGirl to see a screening of Kung Fu Panda 2, in Real 3D. We had seen Kung Fu Panda in IMAX when it came out in 2008 and it was just an adorable movie with a terrific message. As a parent you can only say that good will win over evil so many times. Kids seem to relate to the cuddly images on screen and get the message loud and clear.

Dreamworks hit it out of the park, again, with Kung Fun Panda 2. Reprising their original roles, the Furious Five and Po, returned to voice their respective characters, keeping their personalities, quirks and humor. Although there was a lot more action in this movie, we still got to experience the best of each of the characters. There wasn’t as much time devoted to them individually, as with the first movie, but enough to keep us engaged. This time around, Po’s dad, the goose Mr. Ping, had some of the best lines in the movie!

Seeing it in 3D was interesting. I don’t think it added all that much to the movie. I’d much rather see it in IMAX and forego the 3D. There wasn’t all that much that made me feel part of the movie. Sure, there were some ooooh and ahhh moments when things would come out at the audience. But for the most part, had they not the movie would have been just the same.

This time around, the story focuses on Po, who is now a Kung Fu master, needing to save the Valley of Peace from the evil White Peacock Lord Shen (voiced by Gary Oldman). A majority of the movie focused on Lord Shen and his issues and plan of destruction. Po has one brief interaction with Master Shifu and is told about inner peace. It was all of about 2 minutes. And from that brief discussion we’re to understand that only if Po can find inner peace will he be able to save his people. I think the movie really could have spent more time on that with some fun exchanges with Po, the Furious Five and Master Shifu.

Instead, we are given more destruction, darkness and Lord Shen, who is just plain evil. Unlike the last movie that was colorful and full of laughter and jokes, this sequel is much darker. The message is the same, that good will triumph over evil, but how the story is told is much different.

Overall, it’s a rather predictable movie. The 3D doesn’t add very much, although the traditional Chinese landscapes take advantage of the dimensional aspect of the film. If you or the kids haven’t seen or don’t remember Kung Fu Panda, not to worry. It’s not imperative to have seen the prior movie.

Kung Fu Panda 2 opens in theaters across the nation on May 26, 2011. I’m certain it will be the number one movie its opening weekend. It is a fun movie. BabyGirl laughed out loud quite a few times and overall liked the movie very well. It’s a movie that will appeal to kids and parents alike.

 

BabyGirl and I attended the screening as guests of Dreamworks and Klout, and as guests we were provided with access to the movie free of charge and prior to it opening to the public. I was not further compensated nor was I required to write this review. All opinions are mine and my review was not edited by a third party.

Sara

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