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This one's worth checking out!

Pretty; sursprisingly moving

I hope you’ve forgotten how fat and gluttonous Jack Black’s Po is, because this film reminds you constantly for the sake of comedy.

Kung Fu Panda 2 is not strong on things such as characters, humour or originality, but vastly more-so on visuals, action, fight scenes and even drama. This is, moreover, the first film I’ve seen at the movies that did not bother me too much with its 3D – there were times when it worked.

This sequel to Kung Fu Panda tells us some of our hero Po’s backstory; apparently he used to actually live among other pandas before being adopted by the goose named Mr. Ping (James Hong), and after fighting off the warriors of the evil peacock Lord Shen (Gary Oldman), along with the Furios Five – Angelina Jolie as Tigress, Jackie Chan as Monkey, Seth Rogen as Mantis, David Cross as Crane and Lucy Liu as Viper – he starts to ask his adoptive father where exactly he came from and who he really is.

Meanwhile, we learn that Shen is actually responsible for the death of Po’s family, as well as bent on taking over the kung fu city of Gongmen, using his special cannonry. All seems to go well for Shen, but he is told by a Soothsayer (Michelle Yeoh) that a black-and-white warrior will come and defeat him. Shen refuses to believe in what she has to say, of course, but we all know what’s going to happen, I think.

Sadly, Dustin Hoffman’s character Shifu has a smaller role in this movie; he tells Po that he must find inner peace in order to defeat Lord Shen and save China from him.

Shifu teaching Po about inner peace.

It doesn’t really matter, anyway; the version I saw was dubbed into Swedish,which meant I did not get to hear Jack Black, Gary Oldman, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Jean-Claude frickin’ Van Damme, James Hong or Dustin Hoffman voice their respective characters. Not hearing Seth Rogen didn’t bother me as much.

Though on the other hand, since I was spared those giant subtitles hovering in front of the movie screen, the 3D worked much better here for me, especially during the scenes which used traditional animation as well as the prologue, done in a shadow-animation sort of way.

I did not laugh very much during this movie, nor was I very interested in the characters, yet I was involved in the story – even if it was hugely predictable how everything was going to end up – and moved by the particularly sad scenes. The action is where the movie really shines; the colorful visuals and stunning fight scenes are extremely enjoyable and fun to look at.

I would really like to give Kung Fu Panda 2 an enthusiastic 4, maybe even 4.5, but since it lacks better jokes, more interesting characters and is incredibly easy to predict, it’s going to get a rating of 3.5 from me, which still means it’s worth going to see, mind you.

I believe Po’s story is not yet over, as the ending strikes me as a cliffhanger and a sequel hook. Expect more hunger-jokes in Kung Fu Panda 3, folks!

3.5/5 whatever

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