So... this weekend, Kung Fu Panda got a sequel. Pretty much everyone from the previous movie returns, Jack Black is back as badass panda Po, and we have some new people waiting there for us.
So you'd think that it would be a fun extravaganza, right?
You better believe today's movie is exactly that!
Kung Fu Panda 2
Po (Jack Black) is riding high on awesomeness after the events of the first Kung Fu Panda movie. He's the Dragon Warrior, he knows kung fu, and everything is happy. But when Lord Shen (Gary Oldman) rises to prominence and creates a weapon that could spell the end of kung fu, he is called into action along with the members of the Furious Five (Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen, David Cross, and Jackie Chan) to stop him while he finds out some very sad things about his past.
As Po would put it: awesomeness ensues.
For Po, anyway. Right off the bat, I can tell you that many of the supporting characters from the first movie get more or less shelved here. While Tigress and most especially Mr. Ping get more to do, they did shelve some of the supporting characters from the first movie. Shifu was only in it for about ten minutes (which is a shame, because Shifu is one of my favorite characters in KFP), and the voice actors for the Furious Five don't get all that much to do. (On the plus side, though, they gave more lines to Jackie Chan, but they didn't give that much for the rest of the Five sans Tigress.)
This is regrettable, but the new characters of the cast are more than engaging enough to make up for this. Gary Oldman as Tai Lung replacement Lord Shen is one of the most incredibly entertaining villains I have seen in a long time, and the addition of a wise goat voiced by Michelle Yeoh also adds something. Overall, the voice acting hits all the right cues at all the right times, and Gary Oldman as the villain is one of the best things of the movie.
And what adds something else is that this movie doesn't feel like a retread of the original. Rather, it feels more like the ambitious expansion that sequels ought to feel like. The action is bigger, the personal struggle for Po feels bigger... it all feels like a bigger movie overall. And that only works to the sequel's advantage. Oh, and the funny bits also still work really, really well.
So overall? There's really not that much to say about Kung Fu Panda 2. But in the end, that's hardly a bad thing. This movie is just as fun and exciting as the first movie, and even if it does lose steam at a few points, it's still an extremely fun movie to watch.
So yeah. We had some awesomeness with this one.
Most definitely worth checking out.
This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews. I'll see you guys next time.