Saturday, March 12, 2016

Movie Review: Kung Fu Panda 3

My family and I are fans of Jack Black. We love kung fu movies as well. Jack Black and kung fu make us fans of Kung Fu Panda, the animated movie. We enjoyed KFP 1 and KFP 2 so imagine our excitement when we heard of a third movie. Having watched the third and final installment was like going full circle and ending a journey.

The gang is back and so is Oogway. The old master, now residing in the spirit realm, apparently earned an enemy while he was battling evil conquerors and warriors during his time on earth. This enemy, Kai, a kung fu master himself succeeded in trapping Oogway's chi into a disk made of jade. Kai got back to earth to fulfill his dreams of world domination. It is now Po's role and duty to stop Kai.

What worked

Po is the classic hero. The one who brought balance to the universe. The panda who lived. He is the dragon warrior. The Avatar. He has a host of friends and family who catapulted him into hero status. His enemy is a fitting nemesis to his endearing character. It is easy to fall in love with Po because, his journey towards becoming a hero is something he earned. He is aware of his shortcomings and flaws, and with the help of his friends and mentors, he always rises to the occasion and never lets them down. He figures things out, works hard for it and saves the day in the end.

Po's characterization has been very consistent since the first movie. In KFP 3, Po's role as the dragon warrior is sealed, signed and delivered. He is indeed the chosen one and yet, he remains to be your average guy. How can you not love a hero like that?

What didn't work

The whole tapestry of the KFP world is rich and colorful. There are still some holes and gaps I want to be filled. But, with so much going in the life of Po and his new challenges, cuts must be made. Besides, you can only do so much in 90 minutes.

What saved the entire film is the storytelling and how it was rendered in the visuals and through the narratives of key characters. The 2D manga style animation is impressive. It was like watching a graphic novel come alive.

Overall, we enjoyed it for what it is. It is a feel good family movie that I am happy to see with hubby and our two young adults.

Rating: 3.5 popcorn bags

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