Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – Kung Fu Panda 2


Synopsis: Po (Jack Black) and the Furious Five (Angelina Jolie, David Cross, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen) return as Po continues his training as the Dragon Warrior. But they’re called to arms when a sinister peacock named Shen (Gary Oldman) brings forth a weapon of metal and gunpowder to take over China. Kung fu masters have fallen before the might of the weapon, but Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) believes that his students have the combined ingenuity to bring it down. But the ordeal is not so simple, for Shen has a connection to Po’s past and may force him to learn some uncomfortable truths about where he came from… and why he wasn’t raised by other pandas.

Review: Kung Fu Panda 2 is simply spectacular and I don’t think I could cover all the reasons in the length of this review. Part of it comes from the story and characters evolving naturally from the previous movie, making it feel like more than just a retread. An even bigger reason is the villain. Apart from Gary Oldman’s magnificent performance, Shen has a great design and it gets incorporated into his fighting style beautifully, almost like a cross between a fencer and a fan dancer. He also gets some funny lines in, making him more than just a standard menace.

But by far, the biggest prop I have to give the movie is the message and philosophy that it tries to teach. The first movie had a simple message of believing in one’s self, which isn’t bad, just something we’ve seen a lot before. This movie’s lesson is all about finding inner peace. Keep in mind, this movie is made primarily for kids, so the fact that it does so well in presenting this concept, or even that they tried in the first place, deserves serious respect. The animation is gorgeous and the fight choreography is amazing, but I think the other elements completely overshadow that. I not only think this is a great movie, but I fully intend on showing my kids this movie as soon as they’re old enough to understand it. I hope this becomes a children’s classic because it really should be.

Fun Tidbit: Fred Tascicore, who voices Po’s father in this movie, does not reprise his role in Kung Fu Panda 3, being replaced by Bryan Cranston.

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