Kung Fu Panda 2
Starring: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Huffman, Gary Oldman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogers, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, Michelle Yeoh, Danny McBride, Denis Haysbert, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Victor Garber and more...
Directed by: Jennifer Yuh Written by: Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger Music by: John Powell and Hans Zimmer
Premise: A prince who'd been outcast from the kingdom after an act of atrocity comes back years later to take his revenge, and destroy kung fu, with the use of a new and mighty weapon.
Review: Loved the original, loved the Christmas special, and utterly loved the sequel!
As anyone with eyes could see, yet never say, Po couldn't have been the birth child of Mr. Ping. We will see some of Po's past and how it is that he came to be the son of a bird. What's really neat is how they chose to do the flashbacks, history intro, and nightmare sequences. For some it was still pictures and minimal movement. For others it was straight animation in a slightly different style than the rest of the film. This later plays into a beautiful sequence where the past meets memory and acceptance towards the end of the film.
Everything is super detailed and some of the city scape, villages, and backgrounds are utterly breathtaking. With the 3D even more so. The 3D was used more for effect and contrast than the usual "at ya" gimmicks and worked incredibly well to give the whole story more depth visually and even in the telling. This is one of the first uses of regular 3D that really packs a punch in my opinion.
Lots of great fight scenes. And some awesome ones. You will see Radish Fu. You will see Peacock Fu. Warring Rickshaws! You'll also see the most hilarious take on a Chinese Festival Dragon EVER! I was laughing all over the place and I'm a hard one to make laugh out loud. (Crying is something else altogether and I did some of that too!)
The soothsayer was HILARIOUS! And Shen was both menacing, cold, hot, and utterly beautiful to watch. The story also has some nice twists and turns, which were great.
All our favorite characters are back as Po learns another lesson and sets off to save China. Definitely a must see! They will even leave you a tantalizing cliffhanger bit right before the credits. (Though nothing else is shown after the credits, do sit through part of them - a reenactment of Po's baby journey. Too cute!)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5! (Hubby's Rating: Would pay 3D full price again! This is his highest rating, by the way! heh heh)