“My son saved China – you, too, can save! Buy one dumpling, get one free!”
Kung Fu Panda 2 is the other sequel that came out on May 26 (along with The Hangover Part II). The main difference between the two is that Kung Fu Panda 2 acts like a proper sequel – it builds from the previous movie and presents a new challenge while getting deeper into the development of the characters. Through the conflict, Po (Jack Black) ends up learning about his past and his real family.
While the story is a bit cliche (defeat the enemy who is jeopardizing lives and kung fu), the action makes up plenty for it. Considering it is an animated movie based around kung fu, you can’t expect anything less. Po and the Furious Five bust out some interesting and new moves.
The film does have a touchy side to it when Po’s past is shown of how he came to be Mr. Ping’s (James Hong) son. When Po as a baby panda was shown, a wave of “awww” traveled across the theater. Along with James Hong, plenty of other famous actors took part in the making of Kung Fu Panda 2, including returning voice actors, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, and Seth Rogen, along with new additions such as Gary Oldman, who voices Shen, the evil Peacock. Gary Oldman surprises me considering all the various roles he has taken, like Sirius Black from the Harry Potter series and Jim Gordon from the recent Batman trilogy. He reminds me a bit of one of my favorite actors, Hugo Weaving, who has had unique roles in The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, and Transformer series as well as his performance as V. Apparently he is The Red Skull in the new Captain America movie and is returning as Elrond in the new Hobbits movies.
Hugo Weaving aside, Kung Fu Panda 2 is as good as it gets when it comes to a family, action movie. The ending of the film, however, is very similar to the whole idea of Shaolin Soccer, but I guess that comes with the kung fu territory. Even though the movie has an obvious plot, it is still a good watch, especially for children and families. My only concern for this series now is that DreamWorks will commit and overkill and release three more sequels later on (like how they did for Shrek).