CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
Kung Fu Panda 2 (3D)
03 July 2011. Location: Cinema
This was a change of gear after watching five Resident Evil movies in a row...
So: Kung Fu Panda 2. A worthy sequel to a solid original, or the chance to tell another basic fable and stick a 2 on the end? Mostly the first one, but there are shades of the second, to be sure.
The core of the story, identity and self-belief, is on firm enough ground and it's a great thing to have in a kids movie. The film opens addressing this, with hints of the backstory surrounding Po, the titular Panda. Then, it seems to lose its way for half an hour or so. It's difficult to put my finger on how exactly, as it's not like any sub-plots really take over, but maybe the whole thing could do with tightening up? It's not really until Po and The Furious Five begin to track and face-off with Gary Oldman's Lord Shen that it really picks up the pace. After this begins, KFP2 is on form with its predecessor.
There seem to be less gags this time round; at least the majority of the ones that are there are visual and in-the-moment, so that there isn't really any build-up or pay-off to them, it's largely just chuckling because Po's fallen over etc.
...if it seems like I'm judging it harshly, I'm not, it's just definitely a movie for the youngsters. There's enough thematically for the grown-ups, but they'll get more out of something like Despicable Me.
I should also point out that the visuals in Kung Fu Panda 2 are stunning, and I include the 3D in that (although the best 3D seems to be in CGI movies, when you can stretch the boundaries of the action to match the spectacle of three dimensions).
All in all: If you liked the first movie you'll enjoy this, although it's not quite the ride that its counterpart was. On its own merit? Lots of fun. It won't be the first time that the kids have heard the be-yourself message, but it's no bad thing to remind them again.
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.