Kung Fu Panda 2 review by Melissa Orcine - Cinema Paradiso
If in the first ‘Kung Fu Panda’, Po (Jack Black) was just a small yet oh-so-big-around-the-belly-area fry selling noodles in want of the Dragon warrior status, in this year’s ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’, he IS the Dragon Warrior. With his simpleton issues discarded (except his huge appetite, it’ll always be there), he bands together with other four-legged creatures to fight the evil Lord Shen– of all things, a megalomaniacal peacock!Pohas a more personal mission – searching for his real parents – and his journey to discover his heritage could bring him to the ultimate martial arts showdown with a nemesis ever in his entire panda life!
The fight scenes in ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’ are taken a notch higher but the real star of its CGI is China as its backdrop. To the minutest detail, the movie manages to make it a sight to behold. All the Chinese tapestry and pageantry you can think of are there; this alone will leave you in awe. Of course, no one can ever play/voice Pothan as Jack Black himself; it’s one of the best casting coups. Gary Oldman’s Lord Shen manages to terrorize with the right amount of sneer and madness; by the end of the movie, you’ll be scared of peacocks too.
‘Kung Fu Panda 2’, however, has turned darker – fights bloodier, villains meaner, issues heavier – that kids may check out during these bits and check back in for the action and Po’s comedy antics. Show a whole lot of Po and your movie’s golden. Granted, that all cartoons are not exclusive for children but when you market it as a kids’ movie, it’s better to make it age-appropriate.