After a year of being the dragon warrior, obesitized but fearless Po (Black) is a hero in China along with Crane (Cross), Mantis (Rogen), Monkey (Chan), Viper (Liu), Tigress (Jolie), and Shifu (Hoffman). But trouble pops out when villian Shen (Oldman) begins chaos. Everybody is ready to fight, but Po is unprepared when he learns Shen was his enemy in his infancy.
An emphatic return with a darker story; great movie with lots in it for the adults as well
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.
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