Published On: Wed, May 25th, 2011

‘Kung Fu Panda 2’ movie review

China.  A young warrior asks a Soothsayer to tell him his destiny.  He is told that one day he will be defeated in battle by a black and white warrior.  Angered at this news, and against the wishes of his parents, he sets out to kill those that he thinks will harm him.  But, like Yoda once told Luke Skywalker, “there is another.”

Told in the bold style of animation that signals Dreamworks, “Kung Fu Panda 2” is the continuing story of Po (Black) and his kung fu pals the Furious Five:  Tigress (Jolie), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Crane (David Cross) and Viper (Lucy Liu) and their continuing quest to defend the Valley of Peace.  When they learn that Lord Shen (Gary Oldman), once the young warrior mentioned above but now a man, has devised a weapon to defeat kung fu and, if his plan succeeds, allow him to conquer China.  Shen’s arrival triggers past memories in Po who, on the advice of his master, Shifu (Hoffman), sets out with the Furious Five to not only stop the threat on their country but discover his past.

Like its predecessor, “Kung Fu Panda 2” relies on a good story and great actors to tell the tale.  After back to back misses “Year One” and “Gulliver’s Travels,” it’s exciting to see (hear?) Jack Black have fun again.  He’s joined by a couple of Oscar winners (Jolie and Hoffman) and a virtual who’s who of Hollywood talent, from Dennis Haysbert and Victor Garber to Jean-Claude Van Damme and James Wong, who charms as Po’s adopted Goose father.  Oldman oozes evil as Shen, his whispery voice adding another level of menace to the character.  The script, by original “Panda” writers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, is packed with great humor and, more importantly, great heart.  The animation is outstanding, as is the 3-D process, an achievement Dreamworks has perfected.  Who knows, one day the boys at Dreamworks may give Pixar a run for their money!

Starring the voices of:  Jack Black, Angelina Jolie and Dustin Hoffman
Directed by:  Jennifer Yuh
Rated:  PG
Running time:  1 hour 30 mins

MOVIE MIKES SCORE: 5 out of 5 stars

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See the review here: http://moviemikes.com/2011/05/film-review-%E2%80%9Ckung-fu-panda-2%E2%80%9D/

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