Kung Fu Panda was one of those feel good films that has unexpected charm, a loveable hero and an original screenplay. Family-friendly, it inspired kids everywhere about being in the impossible and fulfilling one’s true destiny. Jack Black as Po the cutie pie panda bear hero was sweet and witty and you couldn’t help put root for him to triumph and become The Dragon Warrior, being the chosen one to protect the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung fu masters, The Furious Five.
With the film’s sequel, however, that charm is on a very low simmer. Po is as cute as ever and the storyline has such great potential, particularly as it addressed head on the history behind Po’s adoption, a very evident reality that was not addressed in the first film where we only know that our favourite panda bear has a goose for a Dad.
Now Po craves to learn more about where he came from, especially since he has a flashback of his birth mother. Father Goose explains that Po is indeed adopted, having been discovered in a crate of radishes but he too is at a loss of what happened before that.
While Po struggles with these issues, villainous peacock Lord Shen (Gary Oldman) appears on the scene determined to kill The Furious Five and eliminate Kung Fu forever. As Po and his team pursue Lord Shen, he soon discovers a connection between this evil bird and Po’s separation from his parents.
However, just when you think this movie is no chop suey, our protagonists redeem themselves with a heartfelt third act which features terrific animation and a belief in the destiny of a true hero.
At the same time, there are also a few nice moments of great chemistry between Po and Tigress, who is voiced perfectly by Angelina Jolie.
Kung Fu Panda 2 may not that the abundance of “awesomeness” of the original film, but there are enough worthwhile moments to ensure the franchise has a far share of karate chops to go.
See the film trailer here.