Saturday, May 28, 2011

Panda 2 the power of awesome

My favorite thing about the summer movie season--at least until I run out of cash--is that there's a new movie I want to see released every weekend. This means I don't have to spend time thinking of interesting or unique ideas for blog posts. Yesterday, Kung Fu Panda 2 beat out Hangover II for my ticket money, and even though I'll probably catch Hangover soon, I'm happy with the decision. Though did you really expect less? Have you read the title of this blog? How could I not like a movie about awesomeness? The first Kung Fun Panda (which I only saw for the first time a little over a year ago) featured Jack Black as Po the Panda, with a supporting voice cast that featured Angelina Jolie (in what I believe is her best role), Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, and others. That cast is back for the sequel and picks up Gary Oldman and Danny McBride to play the new villains.

Anyway, Kung Fu Panda 2 follows solidly in the footsteps of its predecessor. It's not particularly innovative and there's no plot twists you won't see coming, but the filmmakers remember what the movie is supposed to be, which is just solid fun.

I was struck by the brilliant choreography and filming of the many action sequences. Ever since the Bourne films, it seems like Hollywood has grabbed onto the idea that action should be as chaotic and shaky as possible. While there are times this works, there are others where it turns into a disaster. Let me put it this way: when I want to see giant robots fighting, I want to be able to see the robots fighting.

Fortunately, Kung Fu Panda 2 doesn't fall into that problem, and yes, it's probably because it would give kids seizures otherwise, and it's possible I have the attention span of a 12-year-old, but whatever the reason, I loved being to enjoy watching various digital characters employ a variety of fighting moves without trying to figure out who was who.

Additionally, the film never forgets that it's supposed to be funny. It's not going to bring tears to you eyes like Toy Story 3, but if you aren't laughing I think there might be something wrong with you (and thankfully the jokes do go beyond Po's love of food).

Overall, I considered Kung Fu Panda 2 to be money well spent. If you have a kid to take (you can always borrow one, and I'd say "kid" can last through college), I absolutely recommend it. It comes in as my number four film for the year.

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