Kung Fu Panda 2
Jack Black, Angelina Jolie
May 26, 2011
Jennifer Yuh Nelson
1 hour 30 minutes
Is DreamWorks becoming the new PIXAR? Hell YES!! Ever since the original Kung Fu panda came out in 2008, DreamWorks Animation has been on a non-stop winning streak. Before going into the latest Kung Fu Panda, I was very skeptic on how good this 3D sequel would turn out. From the trailers released, I had a feeling that this movie would go back to the crappy DreamWorks films like the horrendous 'Shrek The Third.' Luckily, DreamWorks has actually gone past adult humor and bathroom jokes to make an animated sequel that has the action of the 2008 original, the comedy of any PIXAR movie, and the heart of last year's fantastic 'How To Train Your Dragon.' As shocking as this may sound, Kung Fu Panda 2 is the Toy Story 2 of 2011. It was simply breathtaking, with spectacular animated 3D to go along with the package.
SYNOPSIS (Courtesy of MovieTickets.com)
Po is finally living his dream as The Dragon Warrior, protecting the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung fu masters, The Furious Five. But Po's new life of awesomeness is threatened by the emergence of a formidable villain, who plans to use a secret, unstoppable weapon to conquer China and destroy kung fu. He must look to his past and uncover the secrets of his mysterious origins; only then will Po be able to unlock the strength he needs to succeed.
This may come as a shock to some, but I'm not a fan of Shrek 2. While I think the movie's good, I just don't think it's as good as most thought. Don't get me started on Shrek The Third, because most of the people who experienced it thought it was complete trash. The Madagascar movies were okay, but the sequel was only better because the first one wasn't that great. So I was worried that DreamWorks was only making this for the extra cash they'll grab. But once I got out of the theater, I realized that this movie could be the bastard sequel of the Toy Story and Shrek sequels. Despite the sometimes disadvantage of only 6 people in the theater during a 3:30 show on a Thursday afternoon, I had a spectacular experience watching a slew of Asian animals kicking some serious ass. The first thing I would like to praise was the 3D used.
Despite Pirates having the advantage of being shot in 3D, and Thor had spectacular 3D action sequences, it's the Panda who deserves your extra 3D money. The 3D in this movie was unbelievable. DreamWorks may be the 3D g-ds of the 21st century, because they take 3D into great use. Whoever has seen a 3D movie in the last two years are well aware that the glasses tend to dim when you put them on, making the colors less attractive and some sequences hard to see. With this movie, the colors may be dim, but they still glow and bright your eyes up like the 4th of July. Not just that, but the creatures look more alive and more vivid than they ever looked in the first installment. For those who dislike 3D, so be it. However, for those who have no choice but to take younger ones to see this in the added dimension, I can assure you that you'll be happy being forced to add the dimension and $5 to each ticket you buy.
The action sequences are absolutely stunning, yet sometimes over the top. Nevertheless, they're still eye-popping and full of awesomeness. In fact, the first action sequence we get, with Po and The Furious Five fighting off a group of bandits has to be the best musical fighting sequence since West Side Story. This has some of the most intense fighting scenes that I've ever seen in an animated kids movie. This adds a lot to the average moviegoers experience, yet may be too intense for younger kids. This movie has a lot of comedy as well, that will appeal to both kids and adults who like Jack Black and the other actors in this movie. The movie will also appeal to parents because of its short running time of 90 minutes. This means that kids won't be squirming in their seats like they probably were in the 140 minute long Karate Kid movie last year. They'll have fun, and you'll have fun, that is if you like action, comedy, 3D, and stunning animation.
Kung Fu Panda is THE animated movie of the 2011 summer season. It has everything you want in an animated movie and more. PIXAR fans will love it, kids will be blown away, and parents will be happy because the movie isn't too offensive or irrelevant to go over their kids heads. This movie isn't smothered in bathroom or fat jokes, yet we get them here and there. I have a feeling that this series will go on for a long time, yet every installment will be better than the last. DreamWorks actually announced that they're planning to make four more Kung Fu Panda movies, making six in total. You could call it "The Kung Fu Panda Saga" if yoau must. However, I believe that with the creativity that DreamWorks has, they'll be able to repeat their success over and over again with this series, like how PIXAR did with the Toy Story Trilogy. These of course won't be as superior as the Toy Story series. However, I think that the Kung Fu Panda movies are and will be more enjoyable than the entire Shrek series, including the excellent original film. This sequel may not be another Toy Story 2, but it sure as hell is waaaaaay better than Shrek 2. If there is a good sequel out this weekend, then that sequel is called Kung Fu Panda 2. I'd rather hang out with a giant panda than get drunk with Bradley Cooper.
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