|Entertaining but something is missing|
By the time I have finally gotten round to writing this review it has now been several weeks since I saw the film. This is by no means a bad thing as what I am remembering is what stood out to me, which is what a review should be based on. That being said I should say at the start that I was a huge fan of the original film.
The story again follows Po the panda who is now happily part of the furious five and helps in protecting the valley from outside interference. Meanwhile elsewhere in China the villainous Lord Shen has returned to his ancestral home to claim the city and then move on to conquering the country, but first he must defeat the Kung-fu masters protecting the city with his new weapon. When word reaches the valley of the turn of events Po and the other Five must leave to save the country and Po will find answers to his mysterious past.
The elements of this film that continue to be outstanding are the level of animation, and the characters. As with the first film, the sequel looks fantastic. The design and look continues to be top notch, and the level of animation is superb. It is easy to be entertained by talking animals when they look this good and the way they interact with the world is great as well. The use of colour and lighting is impressive, especially in the final action sequence and it makes the film a joy to watch.
Then there is the characters and voice acting that bring them to life. Again, as with the previous film the voice cast is great and their work superb. Jack Black is very much his character and all of his nuisances are present in the character of Po. While some may find this to be annoying I think it perfectly suits the character and makes him warm and likeable. Angelina Jolie is a much improved character and is much more than just Po's rival this time and I might even say a romantic option for him. The only real addition to the cast comes in the form of the always brilliant Gary Oldman as the villain Lord Shen. He is perfectly over the top and memorable, and I liked his character and design greatly. There are other little performances such as the rest of the Furious Five that are great as this is not an area the film lacks in.
Where the film is let down is that the change in director to Jennifer Yuh the director of the 2D animation sequences from the first film means it has lost that special something called passion that made the first film so good. It is not that she is incapable, in fact as I said above parts like the final sequence look great, it just mostly feels adequate and lacking. Something is missing, the change in story could be it but the feeling of the film is just different and less memorable as a consequence. With the first film I can thing of many memorable sequences but here I am left with only one, the finale.
Kung Fu Panda 2 is not a bad film, it is still throughly entertaining, looks great, and has great characters but is simply not as good as the first film. Now I hate to compare a film to another but in this case it is apt as how many films are there about talking Kung Fu animals. If you liked the first then I can recommend the sequel but just be aware it is not quite as good.
Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom Teaser
I won't lie. I blinked.
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