My daughter and I went to the movies this weekend to see Kung Fu Panda 2. We both loved the first movie, so we were excited to see the second. I am happy to say the movie did not disappoint either one of us. And because Kung Fu Panda 2 is fresh in my mind, I am going to say it is better than the first.
I don't write many movie reviews, so for the sake of ruining the whole movie for you, I am going to add a...
I've always wanted to write that.
So the movie starts out with Po living the good life as the Dragon Warrior, along with the Furious Five. That's until a pack of wolves invade their town and steal metal for Lord Shen (a peacock that once ruled Gongmen City). Po and the Furious Five fight off the wolves, until Po is distracted by a vision from a symbol on the head wolfs armor. The wolves get away, and Po is left to wonder what the meaning of his vision was and suddenly questions where he came from.
Po then goes to visit his goose father, Mr. Ping, and finally learns once and for all that he was adopted. Naturally, Po wants to know why his parents left him in a radish basket as a baby. This is the basket that Mr. Ping found along with his deliveries and ended up raising Po as his own son when no one came for him.
At the same time, Shifu receives word that Gongmen City and the rest of China is in danger due to a new weapon, which could put an end to the tradition of Kung Fu. This is why the wolves stole the metal during the invasion.
Po and the Furious Five head to Gongmen City to destroy the weapon and save Kung Fu.
Once they arrive they realize the city is protected by wolves and need to go into "stealth mode" so they are not caught. When they get to the tower they are surrounded and Po surrenders himself and the rest of the Furious Five. When they get to the top of the tower, they meet face-to-face with Lord Shen, who once again has control over Gongmen City. The Furious Five destroy the weapon (a cannon) and when Po has a chance to stop Lord Shen, he once again has a vision that stops him in his tracks. The recurring vision is of his mother, but this time he also sees Lord Shen and realizes there is a connection.
This is where the bulk of the movie takes place and the Furious Five go on to try and stop Lord Shen once again, only this time they realize he has many weapons and Po is of no use if he keeps on having flashbacks and is vulnerable to being killed. Tigress insists he stay at the jail with two leaders of the Kung Fu Council that refuse to get involved (they believe that helping will cause more harm than good).
Po refuses to stay behind and goes off on his own. This gets him in trouble once again, and Lord Shen shoots the cannon at him, almost killing him. A soothsayer finds him in the river and takes him to the place he was born. This is where Po learns that Lord Shen ordered all the pandas in China killed because the Soothsayer predicted he would be defeated by a panda. Po was placed in the radish basket by his mother to save him.
At this time, Po attains inner peace and goes back to Gongmen City to stop Shen and save the Furious Five, who now have been captured. There is another battle where Shen fires cannons at Po, but since he has attained inner peace, he can harness that power and redirect the cannon back towards Shen.
Finally, Po and Shen come face-to-face again, and Po urges him to let go of his past-- which he refuses. Shen accidentally cuts the ropes that hold up the last cannon, which fall and ultimately kill him.
Po returns home to Mr. Ping, calling him "dad".
The final scene is of Po's biological father, sensing that his son is still alive. We then see a whole village of pandas in a remote location.
Can we predict Kung Fu Panda 3 is in the works??
Yeah, I guess that was a spoiler after all...but it's a kids movie-- you knew Po was going to save the day!
Kung Fu Panda 2 was very entertaining from start to finish. I found myself laughing out loud on a few occasions. The animation was awesome, even in the non-3D version. Since the movie is based on Kung Fu, there is non-graphic fighting. I personally did not see any questionable content for a child.
Overall, Kung Fu Panda is a very cute film that the whole family can enjoy.
Kung Fu Panda 2 stars Jack Black (Po), Angelina Jolie (Tigress), Dustin Hoffman (Shifu), Gary Oldman (Shen), Jackie Chan (Monkey), Seth Rogen (Mantis),Lucy Liu (Viper) and David Cross (Crane).
I really hope they make a third...