Starring the Voice Talents of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Gary Oldman, Lucy Liu, David Cross, and Dustin Hoffman
Directed by Jennifer Yuh
Release Date: May 26th, 2011
As charming and energetic as the first movie.
Set after the events of the first movie, Po (Black) and the Furious Five learn of a new weapon that is poised to take over China, but powerful enough to defeat KUNG FU! The villainous peacock Shen (Oldman) is building Iron Weapons using powerful fireworks to take out Kung Fu warriors. Will the Dragon Warrior be able to stop them?
So Dreamworks may not be as layered and developed as Pixar, but that doesn't mean they're laying down on the job. If their animation studio continues to make films like How to Train Your Dragon or the Kung Fu Panda films, they may find themselves more praise from the critics than with continuous Shrek sequels and ineffectual star-driven projects. Like the first movie, Kung Fu panda 2 makes great use of the kung fu genre with quick, entertaining and quite humorous fight scenes. Many times during the film, I was stunned and then laughing in the same breath.
If I had to criticize the film for anything, it would have to be a quick visual reference to Pac-Man. Don't get me wrong, it's a funny gag, but the first film did without any modern pop culture jokes and was still a great movie. I'm just wondering why they felt the need to make a video game reference for a film set in feudal China.
Rating: * * * * 1/2 of 5