Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) Poster

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Kung Fu Panda has its Empire Strikes Back
C22Man22 September 2015
Kung Fu Panda 2 is pretty much everything a sequel should be. It builds upon its characters, it crafts a plot that is larger as well as more personal and its themes are even deeper than before. It sees Po (Jack Black), who has now been fully accepted by the furious five, forced to battle against a peacock named Lord Shen who plans to conqueror China with a new weapon. It doesn't seem like much on the surface, but Po begins to have flashbacks of why his parents abandoned him and it links directly back to Shen himself. Stories like this are brilliant because the set-up and main goal is relatively simple, but there is a very heartfelt and surprisingly emotion core to the film that is just fantastic.

This feels like its Po's story, and it might annoy some people that the other characters aren't developed more, but for me it was the right move. It makes you always engaged in the journey that he goes through, you want to know what happened to his real parents and he grows as a hero as a result of everything that he goes through. Po himself is again a lot of fun and it impresses me how well balanced the character is, being naive but lovable at the same time with Jack Black adding his usual drive to the role. The furious five are still are really enjoyable team and I think the writers did a great job in giving them all the right amount of lines as well as making them a team you can connect to. Master Shifu has a more limited appearance, but he's still good fun when he shows up.

Arguably the best thing is Lord Shen (Gary Oldman). This is a villain who is both intimidating and really funny, and so many times it's either too much of one or the other yet here they get it spot- on. He is never too serious and he is never too goofy, it is a perfect balance. He has a backstory that explains his actions and connects to Po's spiritual journey. The animation on him looks marvellous and Oldman is absolutely brilliant as usual.

I think one of the main reasons the film works so well is because of the emotion impact it has. The characters all have legitimate reasons for what they are doing and they're feelings as well as flaws are shown fully. The scenes with Po and his adoptive father Mr. Ping (James Wong) are really touching as well as being amusing. The flashbacks are truly moving and even tear inducing. I believe it shows that you can be serious and even somewhat sombre if you can get the balance right. The jokes are consistently funny here, mostly due to Po's behaviour and a lot of Shen's lines. Once again with DreamWorks the animation is absolutely superb with this being some of their sharpest and most vibrant that they have ever produced. Pretty much everything from character designs to the scenic shots of ancient China look fantastic. The more 2-D style in Po's flashbacks is also a nice touch and helps it standout. The speed of the animation is another plus. When it is used for slapstick the quick pace makes everything seem even funnier, and it does a similar thing for the action scenes by giving them even more energy. The score (by Hans Zimmer and John Powell) is another positive, crafting the right amount of soothing melodies and backing the action effectively with some more upbeat compositions.

I think balance is the key word here and it is where Kung Fu Panda 2 succeeds. The story itself is an excellent continuation and the way it unravels as the film goes on is just wonderful. It has plenty of comedy and well placed humour, but it never shies away from darker and more emotional material. I found myself both moved and laughing in equal measure. As said I think the main characters are all great, the animation is spectacular and the villain is outstanding. It is exactly what you want in a sequel and I can't wait to see where the series goes next.
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Kung Fu Panda 2
ProjectAnomaly31 July 2019
I teared up in a movie called Kung Fu Panda 2. What is my life?
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Good movie
MR_Heraclius23 February 2020
Kung Fu Panda 2 was not as good as the original. The story isn't as good and neither is the "Jack Black humor" that made the original what it was. That being said, the villain is really good and the plot is still pretty good. 2 is also a little more predictable. Overall, Kung Fu Panda 2 is a good movie, although it fails to be as good as the first.
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A movie with both good comedy and drama.
Animated_Antic20 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The first "Kung Fu Panda" was a big surprise for moviegoers around the world. Critics and audiences, including myself, really enjoyed it's enjoyable martial arts story, beautiful animation and brilliantly developed characters. So when DreamWorks announced a sequel, I actually got very eager to see it. I went into the film very excited and walked out extremely satisfied because "Kung Fu Panda 2" is a very good sequel that steps up everything that made the first film work. It's one of those films that makes the story, characters and animation better.

The dragon warrior Po (Jack Black) and his fellow kung fu master the Furious Five (respectively played by Angelina Jolie, David Cross, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, and Jackie Chan) have been protecting the Valley of Peace from enemies for some time now. Little do they know that the evil Lord Shen (Gary Oldman) has returned to  Gongmen City in order to test his newest weapon used from modified fireworks to seek revenge after he was banished by his parents for exterminating the panda population in order to avert a prophecy predicted about him. When the kung fu team's teacher Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) receives the news of the return of Shen, he sends the team to the city to defeat the evil Lord and protect the art of kung fu. Along the way, Po is trying to discover his origins along with the mystery with his real parents. After this, we receive some very funny and emotional moments resulting a pretty fantastic movie.

This is one of those sequels that does the proper approach that a sequel should do which continue the story from the first. The film simply doesn't repeat the first story but rather tell a different story. Speaking of the story in this film, it's pretty fantastic. I loved how this movie is able to balance both the comedic and emotional moments very well without making the film feeling like it had to much or even to little. The film once again dove into the philosophy and art of martial arts like the first film did and also added new elements involving inner peace which I found fascinating. The animation once again is beautiful. Director Jennifer Yuh Nelson knew how to tell it's story through it's colors very well with the film having a very heavy focus on the color red during evil moments of the film and calming green colors during quieter moments. I also liked that the flashback scenes in the movie were told through 2D animation which is something that I always love to watch. The characters are also fantastic as well. The reason why is because they're properly developed and given more character and don't act like jerks throughout the movie, particularly Po's relationship to the Furious Five. The villain, Lord Shen, is one of the best villains that DreamWorks has ever created. He has a fantastic backstory and a very deviously evil plot, but they also manage to give him some very good comedic moments. As far as flaws, the movie does feel like it did run a little too long and some of the scenes could have been cut a little bit shorter, but that's really about it.

"Kung Fu Panda 2" is a very good sequel that makes everything that worked in the first film better with a very good story, some great animation, and well developed characters. I wonder where DreamWorks will go from here when they do a sequel because based on the end of the film, this might go somewhere exciting. I surely hope that it does.
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An emphatic return with a darker story; great movie with lots in it for the adults as well
MosHr25 May 2011
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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Both funny and touching
RemusGrey27 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This movie's concept is pretty similar to How to Train your Dragon. Darker and maturer story and plot. But it is different in one way, the comedy is still there and it is a stronger comedy. This is a perfect sequel Dreamworks has done. Stronger comedy with a darker and maturer story, but Dreamworks remembers that this is a movie for kids and they never went "over-maturer". But they still made a movie that can entertain adults also. And also this is really touching which can tear up some others. I call this the best sequel and best movie of 2011.

P.S. Don't let adopted kids watch this as this story has Po finding out that he is adopted and may upset adopted kids.
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A very pleasant surprise!
ceeingred1329 February 2012
Having seen and enjoyed (if not been bowled over by) the original, I was surprised and delighted by this movie that seems to prove that Dreamworks, while still not quite on a Pixar level (Yet!) could soon catch them up. It handles much more sensitive material than the first movie and tackles some truly dark and heavy subject material, but manages to keep it from becoming a drama by dropping in comedic material in a manner that is never jarring, out of place, or desperate. Lord Shen made for one of the most delightful villains of recent movie history. His push against the future contrasting with Po's struggle with the past was wonderful to watch. Po's talks with his father brought a tear to my eye in more than one moment in the film. This company and production team have firmly established themselves as formidable storytellers and I'm eager to see what's next.
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Furry, Ferocious, and Fun!
rgkarim27 May 2011
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.
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Complete Contrast
aka_42009 June 2011
The first word I can say about this movie is, wow! Now once again I know that I enjoy animation movies more than anything but this is one of my top 5 favorites. Kung Fu Panda 2 when I first saw the trailer looked like a typical sequel and kind of a corny ending line, "This could be the end of kung fu..." despite the fact that I liked the first movie. However, the past tense of my sentence pretty much tells where this review is headed, not to mention the stars, but onto the review.

I am only going to choose four of the many characters to talk about for understandable reasons. Po (Jack Black) obviously going to be the star of the movie has excellently transitioned into the role he played. During the first movie, he was socially awkward and never took kung fu seriously, but in this movie it really makes it feel as if he has been shown the ropes a little more and he has matured significantly. For example he is enjoying himself with the Furious Five rather than trying to fit in, and he is also more comfortable with his technique, shown during fighting sequences.

Tigress (Angelina Jolie) I feel was a lot more accepting in this movie, which does not necessarily fit her description of the previous movie, but once again maturity comes back into play. On the other hand though I feel she is a little too accepting though. I don't know if this was deliberate, but she kind of has a relationship with Po unlike any of the other members of the Furious Five have. The boat scene is a perfect example of this because she tries to get Po to open up to her, and for those who have seen the movie, the jail scene where she gets the truth out of Po. Perhaps Dreamworks did this on purpose, but I guess I will just have to wait and find out.

Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman), not really a major character in this movie, actually he is more of a minor one. Shifu looks like he has aged a lot more and he is trying to feel his inner peace as if his job is nearing completion. Now I added Shifu in here because he did contribute to the movie, as little of it as he was in. Shifu in KFP was a master to the Furious Five and Po, and only a master, but in KFP2 he is more of a father figure to them. He gives them the direction that he believes is best for them and the valley, and he is no longer intolerant of Po. When Shifu summons Po, Po interrupts Shifu's inner peace by stumbling and making loud noises, but Shifu just shrugs it off and guides Po to his next phase of training.

Now for the final character which made this an excellent movie, Shen (Gary Oldman). Now this character was one of my favorites. In most animation movies you can look at the antagonist and he will be able to fit into society and not be a threat unless he/she wants to be, but from the very beginning he is just a fearful figure regardless of what he is trying to do. Shen shows the true antithesis of good by just being ruthless, unforgiving, and down right murderous. It does not matter what is in his way he will destroy it or get his minions to do it. That is one of the excellent things about this franchise, the villain was truly a villain. Like Tai Lung (Ian MacShane), he was feared by the Valley of Peace just by hearing his name, same with the name Shen, it just struck fear into the hearts of the people.

These four characters really did add to the movie, but this movie also had everything built into it. Not only did it fill the previous holes from the first movie, where is Po from? Who are his parents? How did Mr. Ping get Po? All of these questions are answered in this movie, it is almost as if this is a prequel-sequel. It is as if the first movie was a rope with stray ends and the second movie weaved all the ends together to make it flow perfectly. Normally when I watch a movie I can find a few things that are just ridiculous, but I brush them off, not in this movie though, it was pure excitement, humor, and enjoyment throughout the whole thing. If you are debating going to see this movie, the decision should be to see it, well worth the money and well worth the time.
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A perfect sequel to go with the original film.
ja_kitty_714 July 2011
I had seen the teaser trailer for the awaited sequel for Kung Fu Panda...and I was psyched! Now I had seen Kung Fu Panda 2, and I find that both the original film and this sequel are both AWESOME!

Po is now enjoying being the Dragon Warrior. But then a band of bandit wolves were attacking the Artisan Village for metal. But during the battle, Po noticed a symbol on the bandit leader's armor that triggered a memory from his past - thus letting the wolves escape. Po asks his father Mr Ping ,where he came from, but all the goose can tell him is that he found Po as an infant in a vegetable crate behind his restaurant and adopted him.

Afterwards, Master Shifu had receive word that Master Thundering Rhino, leader of the Kung Fu Council protecting the metropolis of Gongmen City, has been killed by the white peacock Lord Shen with his massive weapon, which threatens to destroys Kung Fu tradition. So Po and the Furious Five are sent to stop him. Now I know I would say this too: that is all I will tell of the film, folks, you will have to see the film for yourself how it ends.

So overall, I love really this film from beginning to end, perfect to go with the original film.
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Po's Fist Hungers for Justice, I Hunger for More Po
aaronjbong24 June 2011
"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 more Po.

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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Too Awesome
TourettesPersonal26 May 2011
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 one.

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.
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A Nutshell Review: Kung Fu Panda 2
DICK STEEL26 May 2011
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.
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Packs twice the punch, in every way!
neji10722 May 2011
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.

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The Power of Awesomeness
alxfdrmn24 May 2011
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).
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The best of the series
justin-fencsak20 April 2019
If kung fu panda was star wars then this one is esb . This was back when jack black was at its peak with Angelina back when she was married to brad Pitt. This is also the first DreamWorks cartoon to be directed by a woman and has found great success in China. The success of this and the end of the trilogy has spawned a t.v. series and countless merchandise.
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Simply Awesomeness!!!
bprashanth_gi26 May 2011
This installment of Kung Fu Panda exceeded my expectations in all respects.

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!!!
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The peak of dreamworks
benowen-9120712 May 2019
If I knew that I would give a sequel about a panda doing kung fu a 9 out of 10 I wouldn't believe it But my god this is how you do a sequel. I love the first movie, but the blend of comedy, Acton, atmosphere, plot and heart gives an actual emotional experience that completely trumps its predecessor There is no obvious flaws about this movie, it takes what 1 did good and improves it flaws to create an experience that's great for both kids and adults
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A Fast Pace Animation Ride
dahtye-8891524 March 2019
Better than the first and a deeper plot of adventure abd better animation throughout. Characters had diverse personalities creating a richer ensemble.
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Full of of "Awesomeness"
julian-mumford24 September 2011
Kung Fu Panda was huge in every sense, $631 million at the worldwide box office and an indelible character amply voiced by Jack Black. This is a voice role that may come to define his career, even though he does not actually appear in a single frame.

Understandably Dreamworks Studios would be failing shareholders not to expand the franchise further and we now have the second film, in what almost certainly will become a trilogy.

Does the film suffer from mid trilogy bloat and irrelevance, well actually no. Everything is subjective but this is the equal or may even surpass in some ways, the original film.

Po Ping or Dragon warrior (Black) managed through his daring deeds and hopeless optimism to save "Kung Fu" in the first film, here he has a much harder task. Finding himself, reconciling his own adoption and achieving "inner peace" all the while fighting off the genocidal Lord Shen (Oldman) of Gongman City. Shen is intent on destroying everything and everyone to fill the emptiness, due to a lack of paternal love.

As Po would say, "It's like, quite deep".

As before, Po manages to complete daring feats and heroic acts, not so much out of bravery but by falling skillfully, more often than not led by his ample stomach in search of a quick feed. He does not do this alone of course, we have on hand his usual fighting crew. Tigress (Jolie), Monkey (Chan), Mantis (Rogen), Crane (Cross) & Viper (Liu), heavy hitting star power for a children's animated movie.

We also have Shifu (Hoffman) returning as a "Yoda" like mentor and Mr Ping (Hong) as Po's adopted father, who provides comic relief and some touching scenes in equal measure. The film tidying up the slight oddity of a Panda being the son of a Goose. Michelle Yeo voices the soothsayer that predicts Shen's future, who may or may not be useful to his quest in equal measure. Even Jean Claude Van Damme gets a look in as Master Croc, which always looks good on your filmography.

It goes without saying that the animation and sound are top rate and the story unfolds in a natural way and does not feel conceived merely to extend the franchise. We wanted to know more about the character and here we explore Po's past and why this new threat is so personal and debilitating to him, his own Kryptonite if you will.

What made the previous film really stand out was the hand drawn oriental style animation that interspersed the action, fleshing out stories told by the characters. Here we are again treated to similar sequences which lift the film to another level. For every child friendly chase sequence there is a tender scene which manages to appeal to adults without detracting from the on screen colourful antics.

Will Po manage to vanquish evil again, find balance and reconcile his past, well the deviations from the norm can only be stretched so far but the journey is the thing and there is much to enjoy along the way.

Could well be the the best animated film of the year, Pixar have definite competition in this genre and perhaps mirroring the arc from Toy Story 1 to 2. If so, then the third outing could be special indeed.


Equalling or even eclipsing the first film this achieves all the studio could have hoped for. Family friendly with a good heart, exquisite animation and a starry but well used voice cast.

Highly Recommended and as the tagline says, "full of awesomeness".
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An Underrated Masterpiece
zaidmnomani27 May 2020
Warning: Spoilers
In my opinion, Kung Fu Panda 2 is severely underrated. Many seem to prefer the first one over this. However, I completely disagree. The first Kung Fu Panda movie is funny and has a simple story. This film is more emotional and character driven. Whereas the first film was about Po learning Kung Fu, this one focuses more on Po coming to terms with his tragic past.

Already the film has done what every sequel should do, giving the main character a new arc. Another thing is the world building. Most of the film takes place in Gongmen City, and the tall buildings and more advanced architecture is a refreshing change to the setting of the first film. It also further develops the Furious Five, especially Tigress, who's friendship with Po grows much stronger over the course of the story.

Shen, like Tailong in the first film, is the best character. Unlike Tailong, he does not pose a threat to Po in the physical sense, but rather in a emotional way. It was Shen who massacred Po's village, and ergo created his own greatest enemy. Shen is cold and cruel, and a lot of things he does and says are not what you usually see in a animated film. Shen is a great villain to succeed Tailong and a far more dangerous antagonistic force.

Po himself changes. He learns the truth about his tragic past and how he came to be adopted. But Po learns that although his story may not have started out well, his life has become much greater since, which is how he finally gains inner peace by the third act. He is overall a much more mature person than he was in the first movie, although he still has the goofy one liners that are integral to his character.

The action in this film is even better than the first film's. The unique locations and stunning color choices along with some of the best action choreography I have ever seen in a kids film all combine together to make gorgeous looking battles. Most of this film takes place during the night time, so the fire and explosions really stand out. Shen himself is a pure white peacock, and he contrasts heavily with his surroundings, making him instantly recognizable in any scene.

The soundtrack is also as good as, if not better than, the first film. Here it's less noticeable and more subtle, blending in perfectly with the action. In the third act it really elevates the feeling of suspense. Po standing up to a dozen enemy ships and throwing fireballs by achieving pure peace is my favorite moment during the entire trilogy. His final battle and Shen's defeat are done perfectly.

Kung Fu Panda 2 is the Empire Strikes Back of the Kung Fu Panda trilogy. It does everything a sequel needs to and then some more. It is slower paced than the first one, but that is in favor of more emotional beats and better build up. It is a movie that everyone can enjoy and love for many different reasons, and I for one, look forward to revisiting it.
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Enjoyable family film that adds a bit of darkness, and a lot of scale, to the strengths of the first film
bob the moo2 June 2019
I'd not seen the first Kung-Fu Panda film since it had come out in the late noughties, and I hadn't seen any of the other ones at all until it my toddler started watching them and I picked up 2 and 3 for her. After watching the first one loads, I managed to move her to the second, for my own variety as much as anything else. The plot sees Po trying to settle into his new role as Dragon Warrior, at the same time as a banished son returns to the city to use a new powerful weapon to seize control of the city and country. It has a slightly darker tone than the first film, because it touches on Po's backstory, and it carries itself with more dramatic sequences than the first film did (where we only got to see the power and anger of Tai Lung in a handful of scenes - mostly the film was about Po's training).

This slightly extra weight adds to the characters and the narrative, and at the same time the scale of the film feels bigger as we move into a city, with the stakes high. This means the action sequences feel like they mean more, and in return the actions is bigger, more polished, and fits well with the gravity-defying excess of the genre that the film is referencing and drawing from. It did this well in the first film too, but here it feels much more satisfying in the scale of it all. At its heart though the film remains funny, entertaining, easy for families, and with good moral messages throughout. As with the first film, the use of Chinese culture swings from mostly feeling well used and cleverly adopted, to being a bit cheap - but mostly it works well.

Animation and production is of a very high standard, and the voice cast is even deeper than in the first film, with people like Oldman, Yeoh, Haysbert, Garber, Van Damme, and McBride joining an already very starry cast. Black doesn't always work for me, but he keeps Po funny but likeable, while Oldman manages to bring gravity to his performance and have good comic timing too.

In my mind, the Kung-Fu Panda films were sort of 'lesser' films because I always saw Pixar's deeper content as being superior to Dreamworks stuff, however this second film lifts from the already good first, and is a very enjoyable and satisfying family film.
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Loved it when I was 13 years old in 2011, still love it and watch it a lot.
jennypusur21 May 2019
First and one of the only films where I can recognise myself in. It's a short film, and it has flaws, but I love it nonetheless.

Did you know that yellow represent Po, and red represent Shen? It's the same for the other 2 movies, Tai Lung is blue, and Kai is green.
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Kung Fu Panda 2: The Best Of The Three
lukedavidboswell17 April 2019
This film is... woah...

  • Jack Black is still perfect as app the Panda. He brings emotion and humour to the already lovable character.
  • THEY GOT GARY OLDMAN AS THE VILLAIN! Need I say anymore? He is menacing, cunning and delivers with so much intent.
  • Angelina Jolie's Tigress and the rest of the Furious Five return for the sequel and whilst still not all fully developing, similar to the LEGO Movie they still work as characters. Tigress even gets some development this time which is nice.
  • Hans Zimmer creates a rich & beautiful score which elevated every scene to god-level heights. Don't believe me? Listen to "Track 13 - Po finds the truth".
  • The Chinese art styles used throughout... they are truly beautiful and are refreshing in what is now a very CGI animation dominated industry.
  • The messages given about family and finding your place are truly remarkable. They are presented in such an emotional way and works to an incredible effect.
  • On the topic of tone & theme, this film has attempted genocide... IN A FILM WHERE THE PROTAGONIST IS A PANDA VOICED BY JACK BLACK... AND IT ACTUALLY HAS EMOTION?!?!?!

  • If anything, Dustin Hoffman's Master Shifu is not included that much. However, he serves his purpose and owns his few scenes he is in.

Verdict; Going against the status quo of sequels being slightly worse than their predecessors, Kung Fu Panda 2 defies any and all expectations and manages to find a way to continue a story which already had a rather good ending.
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A clichéd amusement
salmanzaheer99 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I went a little late to see this movie. I admit I was a little skeptical at first to go watch an animated movie as 90 minutes mean a lot to me. Though my love for the cute Panda took the better of me and I went to see it.

The movie was full of laughs. It was light; it had me on the edge of the seat during all the action, and the graphics were simply beautiful. But though this movie flowed through perfectly without giving me a second to feel bored, the clichéd story made it almost easy for me to predict that everything would get right in the end... and so it does!

As I watched Po battle Shen(the peacock), I went like, 'Oh we know in the end Po would be this big hero!'Those around me did not like me being a spoiler but fact is fact. Po is the hero in the end and then we go on to the end of a happy ending, with a room for a sequel left behind as well(Surely wouldn't miss that!)

So over-all, it was a good movie, with nice and funny lines and cute animations. The action is intense and the movie is good if you don't like to boggle your mind over the story much. Wouldn't recommend it for those who are mature and think this movie would be different than the other kids movies. But if your a teenager, go ahead and enjoy the movie and the elder sisters of the kids who come to see this title(!). It is definitely worth a watch.
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