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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kung Fu Panda 2 promises ‘twice the awesomeness’


They say that timing is essential in comedy films and director Jennifer Yuh Nelson seems to have it down pat as DreamWorks Animations rolls out the 3D sequel to the 2008 martial arts comedy animation film Kung Fu Panda.

In the second installment, Po (Jack Black), who has mastered Kung Fu and rightfully earned the title of Dragon Warrior, sets out on a mission together with the “Furious Five”: Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu), and Crane (David Cross) to stop albino peacock Lord Shen (Gary Oldman) from destroying Kung Fu and conquer all of China.

Now all Po needs to do is find his “inner peace” and come to terms with his past in order to save China from Shen’s diabolical plot, a journey that proves to be fraught with difficulties and fits of laughter—on the viewers’ side.

Screenwriters Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger packed the movie with brilliantly positioned bouts of humor, even as it attempts to form ties with Po’s traumatic past.

Po’s past, presented in an art form reminiscent of classic Chinese art, fitted right into the movie even with its sombre mood—possibly because of the appearance of cute and cuddly baby Po.

A constant ingredient to Nelson’s formula is humor even as Po’s mission of saving China and Kung Fu from Shen’s grasp also throws in a lot of color into the movie through action scenes.

Imagine majority of the people inside a theater giggling even in scenes which could have been serious if it was not ridiculous—like the part where Po realizes he was adopted by a goose noodle restaurant owner, Mr. Ping.

In the end Kung Fu Panda 2 delivers what it has set out to do: provide its viewers with “twice the awesomeness” of the first movie. And while the freshness of the idea of a high kicking adult panda may have passed for some, Po’s antics will still have most of the moviegoers gasping for air laughing.

Catch Po and the Furious Five as they kick their way through 3D screens May 26.


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