Friday, June 24, 2011

Movie – Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

This film is the sequel to the highly popular 2008 movie Kung Fu Panda.  [see review here]  All of the voice actors return from the first one (Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogan, David Cross, and James Hong.)  Joining them this time around are Michelle Yeoh as a soothsayer, Jean-Claude Van Damme as another kung fu master, and Gary Oldman as the bad guy.

This is another enjoyable adventure with these characters.  This is one sequel that is almost as good as the original.

There are two major plot lines running through the second movie, and they end up mingling before all is said and done.  The first is that a new evil has come forward (Lord Shen, voiced by Gary Oldman) and he has a terrible new weapon: a cannon.  Unless he is defeated, he will take over all of China and it will be the end of kung fu.  The second plot addresses something that was a running joke in the first movie – how can a panda be the son of a goose?  Po (Jack Black) is haunted by this and is searching for what happened to his real parents.

This movie is a little darker than the first one, but that is a good thing.  Po is still stumbling over himself now and then, but the others are there to help him.  There is still a lot of humor to be found in this movie and I enjoyed it almost as much as the first one.

There is a scene at the very end that appears to set up a storyline for a third movie, but it does not leave you hanging in this one.  They wrap up this movie’s storylines.

If you saw the first one and liked it then I highly recommend this sequel to you.  If you never saw the first movie then you should probably watch that one before seeing this one.  Without doing that you will not understand the interactions of some of these characters, although you would still be able to follow the movie as a whole.

Chip’s Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

           DVD                      Blu-ray

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