Accident-prone panda falls flat on 3-D face

By Kary Feick

kfeick@my.madonna.edu

While Kung Fu Panda 2 is much more entertaining than the original, the slow-moving plot and overly comedic panda really hurt the film.

In “Kung Fu Panda”, Po learns to become a Dragon Warrior. He meets obstacles along the way, falls down, and gets back up to try again.

In “Kung Fu Panda 2”, Po still trips over his own feet, failing to exhibit his new Dragon Warrior status. Po is supposed to be a hero in this film, but clearly lacks the ability to focus on the big picture, making quick decisions that get him into terrible, handcuffed situations.

Po and his five animal friends find out that Lord Shen (the annoying peacock) wants to take over China. Lord Shen built a weapon of mass destruction to blast away anyone who does not agree with his evil plan. If the malevolent peacock succeeds, China and kung fu will go down in flames, also causing pandas to become extinct. When Po finds out kung fu will disappear, he states, “But I just got kung fu!” Then he sets out on the journey to save kung fu, but of course keeps stumbling along the way. Po’s friends continuously save the panda, helping him to reach Lord Shen.

As soon as Po sees his enemy, he realizes that Lord Shen knew his parents.

Po spends a good portion of the film trying to figure out why a bird adopted him after finding the young panda in a basket of half-eaten radishes. Who puts a child in a crate full of radishes?

Come on Dream Works, way to show young children an example of borderline child abuse. At least take the child somewhere safe, in fact, take the poor panda anywhere but a basket of radishes.

In the battle to find himself through inner peace and dreams, Po eventually finds out who he is.

While viewers can relate to Po trying to find his identity, this is not something that relates to a parental audience. Sad, yet very true, “Kung Fu Panda 2” is targeted at a teen mother audience.   

Unlike the original, 2 takes a chance at 3-D. Some 3-D films are too in your face, making it painful to watch, but this film creates a visually striking experience. The 3-D really improved the film even with its extremely predictable plot.

Viewers could fall asleep in this movie and wake up to Po still trying to eliminate his enemy.

Watching a film where the hero continues to get himself and his friends into trouble is not worth the expensive movie theater ticket. I would recommend the sequel to children, but parents might want to send the babysitter to the movie theater.

Dream Works should stop making the same disappointing panda films and produce a third installment in which a stronger, less accident-prone Po protects his friends. Worth 4.5 stars for a younger audience, “Ku Fu Panda 2” keeps children on the edge of their seats, imagining what will happen to Po. Overall, the film is worth 3.5 stars for visual excellence in 3-D imaging, despite the slow-moving plot.