Kung Fu Panda 2 – review

The pudgy Kung Fu master is back: Jack Black voices the panda Po in this sequel to the hit animation. He is now an acknowledged warrior and local hero, while retaining an essential cuddliness and rotundity. (Somehow, a buff and slimmed-down Po would be suffering from serious mojo-loss.) He is still hanging out with the Furious Five, led by the sleek and formidable Tigress, voiced by Angelina Jolie, but must now save China from a new enemy, the evil peacock Lord Shen (Gary Oldman). Perhaps more importantly, Po must confront a personal demon: namely, the mystery of how he came to be the son of a local restaurateur, who is in fact a goose, called Mr Ping (James Hong). Could it be that he is not Mr Ping’s natural son, and that he is – gulp! – adopted? And that his real parents are out there, somewhere? This second KFP is an enjoyable movie, though I am not sure I can join in with the excitable critical plaudits given to the original and this followup: it’s a great-looking animation and a nice entertainment, though targeted at a younger audience, without the extra level of adult sophistication. Of course, there doesn’t need to be this extra level: perhaps audiences are sick of wiseacre quasi-adult material in family animations, but I felt that Kung Fu Panda 2 was essentially gentle, like the last film.


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