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|Index||202 reviews in total|
The question that has been floating around about Kung Fu Panda 2 is if
it is Shrek 2 or Toy Story 2 of animated sequels? Well, I'm happy to
say it's Toy Story 2 kind of animated sequel - a genuine good movie
that takes risks and succeeds rather than rehashing the first movie.
Po isn't as much of a gastro-kung-fu fighter and fanboi from the first movie but has grown in his personality; he's less the Jack Black as a panda and more of a character that stands on it's own. However, Po is now the tragic hero in a Greek style prophecy which foretells of a warrior in black and white who would defeat a certain Lord Shen who has invented a new weapon that could spell the end of kung-fu. As Po learns that he is adopted, he struggles to find out about his past and the strange symbol from his nightmares. The heavy subject matter doesn't weight down the movie and is continually and cleverly able to escape into funny moments without losing gravitas. It successfully weaves the topics of fatherhood, friendship and family into a colorful story that even though we know how it will end, it gets there very very emphatically.
I'm really glad that Kung Fu Panda 2 didn't go the route of being a purely children's movie and didn't go the route of being built on jokes of Po's eating and Po's weight. I suppose the fortune cookie philosophy of master Shifu is slightly missed but purely a small quibble in a good movie. As a final note, maybe it's because of my eyesight with a weaker left eye, I barely noticed the 3D at all. Highly recommended movie.
Let me preface by saying I was rather unimpressed with the first Kung
Fu Panda. As entertaining and well-choreographed as it was, it didn't
pass my bar for mediocre DreamWorks animated movies. It was amusing and
had some heart, but all-in-all was pretty expected. Now when I got a
chance to see a preview of Kung Fu Panda 2, I was rather indifferent to
seeing DreamWorks trying to pump out a mediocre sequel and a new
franchise. But WOW... was I wrong! I take back everything I said
earlier because, man oh man, I have to admit that Kung Fu Panda 2 was
one of the best animated films I have ever seen.
In in this installment, we find Po and the Furious Five defending the Valley of Peace from evil when a new threat rises. Lord Shen, an albino peacock banished by his parents many years ago, has returned with a technology capable of ending kung fu and conquering China. As the Furious Five embark to destroy the weapon, Po begins to realize that Shen may be linked to his lost childhood past as a panda bear. I won't say any more in fear of spoiling the story, but be prepared for a powerful emotional experience.
I found a big improvement was that they toned down all the things that made the first movie irritating: over-the-top Jack Black antics, overused slow-mo effects, and dialogue silliness. That's not to say Kung Fu Panda 2 doesn't have humor; actually, it has exactly the right amount at the right time. I found myself rolling my eyes a lot at the jokes in the first movie, but the sequel had me (and the whole theater, for that matter) genuinely laughing! The characters have fully matured and been fleshed out to the point where even Jack Black fits comfortably as Po, though regrettably the Furious Five barely get any screen time. Of course, shining in the spotlight was Gary Oldman as the sinister Lord Shen, whose fantastically evil voice acting tops even Ian McShane's as Tai Lung and is the ONLY way that a peacock could possibly be made scary! The 3D was also showcased quite well, enhancing most of the visuals throughout the movie without being a headache.
Maybe you call it blasphemy, but the comparison must be made. Kung Fu Panda 2 was put together with such a degree of excellence that it rivals many Pixar movies (and in my opinion has a good chance of outshining Cars 2 this year). With some fantastic animation, a surprising and touching story, and convincing voice talent, Kung Fu Panda 2 will easily go down as one of my all-time animated favorites.
Furry, Ferocious and Fun!
This Memorial Day weekend I watched Kung Fu Panda 2, the sequel to the action packed comedy starring Po (Jack Black) and the fearsome five. The first movie was a fun kids movie that had a lot of catchy one liner phrases, a few kick butt actions scenes, a lot of situational comedy, and a story that was about working hard and finding your inner strength. Now three years later, the fellows at Dreamworks have presented a sequel to this animal centered comedy, which follows after the two duds we saw in Shrek the Third and Shrek Forever After. Is this sequel following the same path that the last Shrek films took, or does it shine on its own? My answer to this question is that it does indeed shine on its own.
The story starts out with a background story about the villain Shen (Gary Oldman) and his lust for power to rule over China, eliminating any forces that try to stand in his way. Not long after the introduction, Po and the gang come back into the picture before Po is called to Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) to learn about finding inner peace. However, the peaceful air is soon disturbed by a pack of wolf soldiers and an action fight sequence soon starts that puts most action movies to shame. As the wolves retreat Po, along with the fearsome five, set out to defeat Shen and find inner peace.
Over the course of the journey, Po provides that classic comedy that made him famous in the first film as he uses phrases like awesome, so hardcore, and freaking in providing that awkward and childish enthusiasm that makes him stand out. His enthusiasm is still balanced out by his lack of stamina and large girth comedy which is cleverly integrated into both combat and non combat scenes. Clumsiness also plays a role in Po's ability to make us laugh, as what starts out as the stylish moves of a kung fu master quickly turns into a blundering mistake that somehow seems to work for Po. All of these aspects are brought together by Jack Black's voice work as he finds a way to bring a juvenile tone to the comedy, while still sounding wise and honorable during the serious scenes.
Perhaps one of the strongest aspects about this movie is the balance of story, action, and detail. The story, or should I say stories, are detailed enough to provide character development that older audiences will like, but at the same time is catchy, simple, and fun enough to allow younger audience members to get a gist of what's going on. The integration of action and chase scenes keeps the pace of the movie going while also keeping the attention of the audience glued to the screen, a plus for those that have a hard time sitting through a movie.
What really brings all of these strengths together though is the camera and musical works that add that finishing touch to the movie. The camera work is smooth and not really jumpy and allows one to see what's going in almost every scene. An exception to this style occurs in some of the fighting seen at the end, but it's not too bad so most should be able to slide ignore it. While the camera's capture the action, the music that plays during every scene has been selected to bring out the emotions of the scene and make you feel it deep in your heart. Whether it be fast flying punches, sad flashbacks, or the findings of inner peace and the acceptance of the past the music catches all of these emotions in a brilliant combination of strings, percussions, and other orchestra instruments to make you feel like you are in the movie.
Although this movie has a lot, and I mean a lot of good aspects, there are still some weaknesses that one may find. The comedic styles of Po can get a little stale at times, especially hearing the word hard core about ten times. A second thing is that Po pulls off a little too much Yoda at some points in the movie, I won't say too much more to avoid ruining the movie. Perhaps a third thing one might not like is how long it takes to finish off the final battle. Although the movie is only an hour and half long, some might find the final battle dragged out a little too long and want it to just end, this was not a problem for me however.
Overall Kung Fu Panda 2 is a sequel that is a must see, especially for kids and fans of the series. Even if you haven't seen the first one yet, which was the case with my cousin, one will be able to find some part of this movie to enjoy. Laughs, actions, drama, story, and heartfelt emotions are all in this movie and the wide appeal to many audiences makes this a great movie for a youth group or friend outing. Thus my Robbie Rating for this movie is 9.8-10.0. I hope that you enjoy this movie as much I did. Recommended audience members: Kids, Dreamworks fans, Kung Fu Panda lovers, action lovers, comedy lovers, etc. People who should avoid this movie: Horror fans and fans looking for a movie with blood, because it doesn't have any of it.
I loved the first Kung Fu Panda movie. It had everything: amazing
story, great characters, not to mention great humor. In fact, I
consider it to be the best DreamWorks movie since Shrek. Considering
DreamWorks' almost flawless track record with sequels, I couldn't wait
to see Kung Fu Panda 2.
I went to see the midnight premiere, and boy was I not disappointed! Everything about this film blew me away. Just like Shrek 2, this was everything a sequel should be. This was a well-written, excellent continuation of the series. It had everything the first film had and more. One of the things I really liked was seeing Po and Tigress become close friends, whereas in the first film she couldn't stand to be around him. With that said, her character was nicely developed; I would have liked to see more of that in the rest of the Five.
Overall, this film was excellent. I can't wait to see it again; I hear there may be plans for a third movie. As long as they keep doing what works in their films, and don't do what they did for Shrek the Third, I'm sure DreamWorks will not disappoint me. 10/10
My biggest fear about sequels is it's gonna end up pretty bad and ruin
the first one. But I remember, Dreamworks already understand how to
make a true good animated movie so I don't have to worry. Now the
sequel just got more awesome. Non-stop action and non-stop laughs. The
heart is also there. "Kung Fu Panda 2" is just as good as the first
The trailer makes us dubious but this is Dreamworks. Anyways, "Kung Fu Panda 2" is a great continuation of the series. The story still has a heart and some scenes can almost move you to tears. The movie has bigger and more Kung Fu action & yes, the action never stops. It's all kick butt action.
I like it how they improved the editing. Remember Megamind, It feels like you were flying in every flying sequences. They did the same thing in "Kung Fu Panda 2". Fast Moving Action that it's fun to see it even if it's in 2D. I don't really bash 3D though. The jokes are obviously everywhere. Even in serious scenes it suddenly has humor.
The new comers from the cast did a great job. Gary Oldman is definitely good at being a villain in movies even if it's animated. Michelle Yeoh made her character likable. Jean-Claude Van Damme is awesome even though his scenes were few. This movie still has the same style from the first movie. Magnificent flash animation in the intro, flashbacks, and the dream sequence. Nice music score. And a lot more.
I just said this movie is as good as the first movie but if I had to pick which Kung Fu Panda movie is better then it would be the first one. It's more heartwarming but Kung Fu Panda 2 is already good enough as a sequel because it's bigger and too awesome. Unfortunately, It's too awesome it moderates the depth a little bit but it's entertaining at its best. To be honest, this could be the best movie of the summer so far.
Who would have expected Kung Fu Panda to become a surprising,
heartwarming summer hit back in 2008, where I thought it had captured
the very essence of a typical martial arts film, and distilled it into
an animated piece appealing both to kids and adults alike. The big risk
involved is of course coming up with the inevitable follow up film
given the profits that it had raked in, that won't be an insult to its
fans, and yet maintaining that same level of appeal the original had.
Kung Fu Panda 2 succeeded.
Although it certainly did seem that passing the reins over to rookie director Jennifer Yuh was bewildering, but Yuh turned out to be perfect in guiding the sequel and the beloved characters in yet another adventure, with bigger set action pieces, touching dramatic moments, and retaining plenty of humour from the get go. Credit of course must go to writers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger in coming up with a natural progression of the story of Po (Jack Black), and filling it with a lot more elements from classic martial arts film formulas such as a jail break involving skilled pugilists in captivity, a pagoda, getting beat down, recovery and recuperation, and the learning of a new, ultimate skill. To think that the worries came from the scribes being responsible for the snooze-fest Monsters Vs Aliens, and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.
Kung Fu Panda 2 brings back the A-list voices of Black as Po the Panda, now very much comfortable in his celebrity role of the prophesied Dragon Warrior, and the Furious Five consisting of Angelina Jolie as the no-nonsense, hard hitting Tigress, Seth Rogen as the wisecracking Mantis, David Cross as Crane, Lucy Liu as Viper and the underused Jackie Chan as Monkey, recognizable animals used in distinctive martial arts boxing styles. Also returning are Dustin Hoffman as Master Shifu and James Hong as Mr Ping, while joining the fray are Gary Oldman as the chief villain Lord Shen the vain peacock, Michelle Yeoh as The Soothsayer, Jean-Claude Van Damme as Master Croc, Dennis Haysbert as Master Oxen and Victor garber as Master Thundering Rhino, the latter three forming some formidable masters of kung fu whose city they're protecting falls under siege.
The story continues to loosely adopt from historical developments in China, with the premise being set during the time when gunpowder was discovered and fireworks created, but with the more sinister use of the material also for the creation of weapons such as the cannon, threatening the extinction of martial arts with its formidable firepower. Lord Shen becomes fanatical in plundering metal from the land with the ambition to rule all of China, but for his Soothsayer to predict his downfall to come from something black and white, hence his dogged massacre of pandas with his wolf pack goons, before setting his sights on and signaling his diabolical intent on some legendary martial arts masters.
It's pretty amazing how this under 90 minute film also managed to squeeze in plenty of pathos in the form of Po having to unlock his repressed memory of being necessarily abandoned by his parents following a pattern ala Moses with the pandas being threatened with forced extinction, which provides tons of baby panda to milk some scheming, crafty moments to tug at your heartstrings, and you can hear that audible gasps of "oh so cute"s from female members of the audiences. Well done, if the studio decides to make money from merchandising. Narratively it's pretty predictable following the generic essence of typical kung fu film classics, what with the learning of inner peace and new skills involved that resembled very much like Taichi-quan, but what mattered of course is the delivery that hit expectations, and not buckle under that same weight brought over from a successful first film.
Then of course there's the spectacular fight sequences, especially when Po and the Fearsome Five combine to protect the innocent masses against hordes of enemies that come with the requisite comedy, from slapstick to lyrical, like poetry in motion when they showcase their respective, distinctive moves. Big action set pieces are well designed, and I give my thumbs up to how the villain is modelled after the peacock, which in itself brings about the theme of vanity that almost all villains possess, but in the context of kung fu, it's extremely smart to design Lord Shen to move and utilize his own innate weaponry, that of sneaky darts and fans - a weapon that in Chinese martial arts film, is the weapon of choice of the "wei jun zi" - the "fake gentleman" (sorry if my interpretation sucks, but you get my drift).
No qualms about this installment, I would put it in my highly recommended list as a sequel that didn't forget about the spirit of the original, and if the filmmakers can continue to capture exactly what makes martial arts movies tick and distill it like it did for the first two films, I dare say we're in for a mighty strong franchise that will appeal to kids, and every kung fu film fan out there who will probably go nuts at how well this animated series managed to get the formula right.
This installment of Kung Fu Panda exceeded my expectations in all
Animation is superb, characters greatly orchestrated, voice-acting is top-notch, fights are well choreographed and there is enough humor to make you feel that you have regained your childhood back!!! With ingenious methods, the actions scenes are executed. And in many parts where you would normally expect a punch line or superb dialogue, there will be an excellent goof-up which seems to tickle you just enough!! Kudos to the dialogues and screenplay.
The only negative (and that too a little one) is the storyline. I really expected something other than the plain old story of discovery and revenge.
But all-in-all, Kung Fu Panda 2 is one of the best animation movies ever made and I can safely say that this will be the best movie this summer!!!
In a summer packed with superheroes, pirates, and aliens, I wouldn't
have guessed that my favorite movie so far would involve animals doing
martial arts. Kung Fu Panda 2 was extremely impressive.
The Po (Jack Black) of the first Kung Fu Panda is still the same goofy panda with a strong spirit and unique karate moves, but in this movie he faces unanswered questions about his past. While the first movie was more of an origin story, the sequel shows his quest to find out where he came from, a gap that he needs to fill in order to become at peace with himself. If you wondered how a panda could be the son of a goose, your questions will be answered, and Po's backstory is much more emotionally developed than you might think.
Po also has to confront the villainous Lord Shen (Gary Oldman), an albino peacock. Tai Lung (Ian McShane) in the first movie relied more on brute force, but Shen is much crazier and unpredictable. In typical supervillain fashion, he plans to take over China and destroy Kung Fu forever (yes, Kung Fu is treated pretty lightly in these movies, but there's enough philosophy involved, and it is a kid's movie). Though Tai Lung held a personal grudge against Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) in the first movie, Shen is a more fitting antagonist for Po because of a strong connection to Po's past.
And of course the colorful supporting cast is back too. The Furious Five are all well-designed characters, and although they don't have much speaking time, they all have their moments to shine (especially Angelina Jolie as Tigress and Seth Rogen as Mantis). Though Jackie Chan barely had any lines. The new characters all help to expand the world of the movie.
Though the first movie had a lot of juvenile humor, Kung Fu Panda 2 had a lot less fat jokes and a lot more slapstick. Despite the marketing, Po only says "Skadoosh" once, and it's actually pretty cool. The movie is darker overall, but that only serves to increase the epic tone. Shen is played by Gary Oldman, and though I didn't realize that until the credits, it makes a lot of sense. The villainous peacock is very similar to other self-obsessed, off-the- hinge villains Oldman has played in movies like León and True Romance. But however dark the movie gets, it's always a lot of fun. Jack Black isn't as annoying as he can be sometimes because Po just seems like the kind of character he's meant to play.
The animation in Kung Fu Panda 2 is extremely well done. It's incredibly cool to see the group fight as a team, and the character animation is expressive in both emotional and action scenes. The cinematography embraces a wide variety of techniques, from slow motion to first person chase scenes, and several sequences use 2D animation to great effect. The set pieces are action-packed, and entertaining. After one scene, I thought the movie was going to end soon just because of how big it was, but the real finale topped even that. And the landscapes and backgrounds are beautiful to look at, artfully designed but still realistic.
I saw this movie in 3D, and for the first time, I definitely recommend it. I haven't had many good experiences with live action 3D, but animation is much better suited for it. Kung Fu Panda 2 is a thrill ride, and the 3D was crisp and well done.
I have to give props to Hans Zimmer. After Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was a bit of a letdown, the soundtrack to Kung Fu Panda 2 is quite awesome, adding to the already epic tone.
I honestly can't think of much that I can criticize about this movie. Po's "this is awesome" comments get a bit repetitive, and some scenes with Shen are a bit long. There's a plot point where the group and Po have an argument that kind of doesn't make sense. Otherwise, this movie was really entertaining, both as an action movie and a (admittedly aimed towards kids) comedy, with a strong heart in the center.
If Cars 2 doesn't completely blow everyone away, Kung Fu Panda 2 definitely has a rightful chance at winning Best Animated Feature (which my brother jokingly called "The Pixar Award") this year. It's interesting to see animation take on different genres, and if you took out all the animals, this movie could definitely stand on its own as a kung fu epic. Dreamworks really stepped up its game, and I would gladly pay to see Kung Fu Panda 2 (maybe even in 3D).
The original Kung Fu Panda is one of the only Dreamworks Animation
films that actually holds its own in comparison to Pixar films. It
managed to capture the look and feel of the classics old and new that
martial arts film enthusiasts such as myself admire so much while also
offering humor that was actually funny, fantastic animation, and just
an incredibly entertaining film overall. It turned out to not only be
one of the more enjoyable animated films of 2008, but one of the best
films of that year period. So, here we are, three years later with Kung
Fu Panda 2 resting on the horizon of its release that actually feels
just as strong as the original without all of the endless shortcomings
most would expect to plague a sequel.
When it comes to animated films, one of the most important ingredients is the cast. The voice cast can make or break an animated feature. A talented one can make it even better while a weaker one can result in it hurting the overall enjoyment of the film. Fortunately, the cast for Kung Fu Panda 2 is pretty spot on. The entire main cast (Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, David Cross, Lucy Liu, Dustin Hoffman, James Hong) returns from the first film and while it would be nice to see some of them have meatier roles and/or more lines (Jackie Chan and David Cross for starters), just having them return is fantastic. Casting changes between sequels are never really great. They can be pleasantly surprising, but it never feels the same. So it's great to see the entire ensemble back in full form. My personal favorite from the original cast is James Hong as Mr. Ping. The Asian American actor is perhaps best known as the villain in Big Trouble in Little China and was also Hannibal Chew in Blade Runner, but hearing that actor voice a goose who runs a restaurant and is so attached to his kung fu panda/China saving son is awesome in itself. Mr. Ping is an emotional wreck with Po putting himself in danger so often and Hong just makes his heartfelt performance stand out above the rest.
Newcomers such as Dennis Haysbert (Heat, "24") and Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Sunshine) were fun additions. Yeoh voices The Soothsayer, who has a few humorous moments with Lord Shen, but realizing that Jean Claude Van Damme voiced Master Croc gave a little more weight to the throwbacks to well-known martial arts films. That influence is definitely there in the Kung Fu Panda films and both of them use that influence as a crutch in the best of ways, but having talent like Van Damme, Jackie Chan, and Michelle Yeoh participate make it all feel a little more genuine. It'd be like bringing in Chuck Norris, Jet Li, Donnie Yen, or Sammo Hung. The cast in this is just as much a drawing factor in this as it is in something like The Expendables. It makes that homage mean so much more.
Gary Oldman practically steals every scene that he's in though. He brings that intensity and dark lunacy associated with his roles in Leon and The Fifth Element to the Lord Shen role; those same traits that made fans love his talent in the first place. He fits the role of an evil albino peacock rather well.
The animation is really the film's Tour de force. Every movement flows naturally and everything is so crisp and smooth. Fight scenes are so fast yet easy to digest. Animals talking, portraying human emotion, their hair folding in the wind all look natural. But the art direction of the film is something special. It was already fantastic in the first film, but they really bulked it up for the sequel. It's slightly reminiscent of "Samurai Jack" yet more awesome; more engrossing. It captures the feel of Chinese martial arts perfectly and the use of traditional animation during Po's flashbacks was an extremely welcome addition; having Guillermo Del Toro as the creative consultant on the film surely helped in their benefit.
Kung Fu Panda 2 is beautifully animated, exceptionally cast, laugh out loud funny, and nearly upstages the original at every turn. While certain things in the film like the "inner peace" bit are slightly predictable, it doesn't take away from the overall enjoyment of a sequel that capitalizes and improves on its predecessor rather than feeling like a watered down version of it.
"Kungfu Panda 2" is an excellent sequel to an excellent preceding film
and a truly fun film to experience with your family and friends. It is
as enjoyable as watching through the first time, maybe even better.
Here, the elements from the first film are improved and crafted for
this sequel to create a wonderful, stunning, and memorable adventure
that will surely entertain all its audiences and leave them hungry for
The plot of this movie is much more enveloping than that of the first film. Po, now the Dragon Warrior is a hero protecting the citizens of China with his fellow friends, the Furious Five, as well as his master, Master Shifu. But then, a threat endangers all of China as well and threatens the existence of Kungfu. This threat is organized by the peacock, Lord Shen, who is after the destruction of China, and the extinction of Kungfu. Now Po, the Kungfu Panda, with the Furious Five, are determined to stop Lord Shen from destroying China and the existence of Kungfu, despite that Lord Shen has designed a very powerful weapon (something like a catapult). But doing so takes Po into learning the truth about the past, about who his parents are, and about who he is.
"Panda 2" is also the first "Panda" film to be shown in 3D, which wasn't quite bad. Depth was practically conspicuous throughout the film and is certainly not a bad choice in how to enjoy this film. "Kungfu Panda 2" is definitely a film worth watching in 3D.
With a more threatening premise, and the addition of 3D, "Panda 2" also improves on the action scenes. The fighting scenes were very entertaining and should keep kids and adults hooked.
The animation movements and CGI in "Kungfu Panda 2" are also excellent and awesome. The backgrounds, and the setting are all very detailed and the complex movements of the characters are simply perfect. Bravo!
Another element welcome to the "Panda" movies is romance. In this movie, Po will start to have a relationship with another creature (No, I won't tell who he had it with). Speaking of relationships, the movie will also get emotional as Po begins to discover the truth about his past.
Humor plays an essential role in this film and will leave you laughing in your seats. I think the jokes here can give you more laughs than the jokes from the first film. "Kungfu Panda 2" will definitely keep you laugh your head off.
Apart from all these, I was also amazed in how they could use a peacock as a skilled martial arts creature. At first, I thought, how could they use a peacock, full of feathers, as a martial arts villain. Then "Kungfu Panda 2" revealed it all and I was stunned by their work in crafting a feathery bird, into a dangerous, and ruthless villain.
In terms of recommendation, I would recommend this movie to all ages. The humor will appeal to little children, as well as older audiences alike, and the fighting scenes will appeal to teenagers, or and older audience. 3D is definitely worth it for experiencing this film.
After analyzing the box office performance of "Kungfu Panda 2", I feel pitiful for the movie, especially when Dreamworks have crafted a wonderful and amazing film for audiences to enjoy. I do hope that the box office performance of the film rebounds and becomes a great hit in the box office world. I also do hope that this movie will be successful enough for the sake of "Panda 3".
So yes. Po's fist hungers for justice. But I hunger for more Po!
Prince AJB's Rating: 10/10 (Excellent)
Thank you for reading my review on "Kungfu Panda 2". I hope my review is useful for you.
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