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Review of Kung Fu Panda

Permanent Link by bootlegga on Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:15 pm

Kung Fu Panda, Dreamworks latest animated comedy, stars Po (Jack Black) as a waiter in a noodle shop who lives and breathes for kung fu, especially his heroes the Furious Five (Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Viper (Lucy Liu), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Crane (David Cross) and Monkey (Jackie Chan), masters at kung fu who protect the valley from evildoers. Unfortunately, his rotund shape prevents him from actually practicing it. A festival is announced at the temple where the Furious Five train, led by Shifu (Dustin Hoffman). There, Oogway, the kung fu master will choose a warrior to be given the Dragon Scroll, which is said to imbue invincible power on its holder. Po, miraculously, is picked as the chosen one. Of course, the Furious Five and Shifu feel cheated and treat Po like the ugly duckling. Meanwhile, in prison far away, Shifu’s former protégé, Tai Lung, plots his escape so he can take the Dragon Scroll for himself.

The movie is quite good. The special effects while not quite up to Pixar’s standards, are still very nice. The setting, ancient China, is done wonderfully. All in all, the movie is a bit of a letdown. The show has a great ensemble cast (like the Furious Five), yet most of them only get a line or two. Instead of giving everyone some screen time, most of it is based on Black and Hoffman. Black does his usual brand of physical comedy and most of the movie seems like an animated version of Nacho Libre, not Kung Fu Panda. One big problem the movie has is it tries to be everything. There is slapstick comedy, drama, philosophy, scary scenes and so on. Some of the scenes with Tai Lung are likely too scary for a lot of small children.


http://www.kungfupanda.com/
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