Media Partners | Contributors | Advertise | Contact | Log in | Friday 9 December 2022

Kung Fu Panda Strikes Again... But to Mixed Reviews

22nd July 2011

Share This Article:

PoDragon Warrior panda, ‘Po’ and the gang are back, and ever more hilarious and stronger than ever!  Kung Fu Panda 2 released throughout the UK on June 10, had been hyped up to be as enjoyable, comedy-filled and as imaginative as it’s prequel, Kung Fu Panda. Directed by Jennifer Yuh, Yuh effortlessly incorporates Chinese culture with morals and honour to create a fun, energetic sequel to the film that made us all fall in love with Kung Fu!

Panda Po (Jack Black), now living his dream as the ‘Dragon Warrior’ whilst undoubtedly being a household name and hero within China, takes on his new role with just as much courage, strength and humour as he did within the first instalment. Po, content with his new status as the ‘Dragon Warrior’, is threatened by a formidable villain, who plans to conquer China and destroy Kung Fu. Menaced by a new secret weapon, the gang’s journey to avenge evil is not for the faint-hearted, and will test Po’s intelligence, strength  and inner power. Protecting the Valley of Peace alongside his friends, The Furious Five, the team strive to fight against evil and let good prevail enabling peace to be found by all. In a journey to save the Valley of Peace, Po and the gang fight an old enemy, Lord Shen (Gary Oldman), a vicious peacock, drunk with power, content on taking China for his own. Whilst trying to protect civilisation, Po encounters answers from his past, which up until this point, had been shrouded in mystery. Po’s unknown childhood and subsequent events surrounding the whereabouts of his biological parents, enables him to question his inner-self. His fight and struggle to find inner-peace intertwines with his need to conquer evil and fight peacock Shen, in a furious bid to win or lose all, risking his and The Furious Five’s lives’.

Kung Fu Panda 2, despite the hype and media circulation surrounding it, once viewed seemed to be just that. Hype. It was unable to show a range of difference between itself and the first instalment, despite new action sequences, characters and a much simpler plot and narrative. The first instalment, Kung Fu Panda grossed an estimated US$631,744,560, suggesting that Kung Fu Panda 2 may have a hard time trying to succeed its prequel. It is clearly an issue that seems to haunt all sequels that it inevitably will always be ‘second best,’ and never amount to the prequels notoriety. Though funny, witty and fast-paced, interlocked with loveable, brave characters that the audience will fall in love with, the film does not compete in comparison to its prequel. The novelty of ‘Kung Fu’ seems to of worn off, with the plot driven purely by Black’s hilarious portrayal of the loveable Po and his need to succeed.

Although the storyline is a tad familiar and lacks imagination, it’s action-packed comedy sequences and slapstick humour drives the film. Whilst it’s plot is simplistic and repetitive, Kung Fu Panda 2 does not fail to impress its target audience: The Kids. Jack Black’s lead role as ‘Po,’ continues to carry the entire film in a similar way to the previous film. With his one-liners and loveable, hilarious nature Po’s ‘hero status’ is undeniable. Alongside Black, ‘Tigeress’ Angeline Jolie offers a some-what minor yet supportive role, identifying an excellent range of actors and actresses which help to give the film credibility.  Shen, (Gary Oldman) is convincible as bother an unbeatable villain, but also a character who has no morals, thus attempts to destroy both Kung Fu and overtake the Valley of Peace. Both Oldman and Black display an excellent contrast between good and evil, a convention that any great action-packed film must have!

Despite the simplistic storyline and the “déjà vu” feeling of, “haven’t we seen this before?” it is a well-executed, comedy-packed family film that everyone and anyone can enjoy! However do not expect it to compete with its predecessor as unfortunately, you will be thoroughly disappointed. With references to Chinese culture, incorporated with the strong moral message, “You cannot change your past, but you can change your future,” the film offers a basic yet enjoyable moral message which kids can easily understand and thoroughly enjoy! A great film to take the family to, just don’t feel too guilty if you fall asleep half way through!

Articles: 29
Reads: 193041
© 2022 is a website of Studee Limited | 15 The Woolmarket, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 2PR, UK | registered in England No 6842641 VAT # 971692974