The Kung Fu Panda saga continues with potentially its best entry yet; a superior sequel which is fun and funny; action-packed and, as Po would say, just outright awesome.Perhaps the perfect character (animated or otherwise) for larger-than-life Jack Black, the lovable, enthusiastic panda-turned-martial-arts-master faces his toughest challenge yet as Dustin Hoffman’s mentor passes on the mantle and leaves Po to be in charge of the famous Furious Five (Seth Rogan’s Mantis, Angelina Jolie’s Tigress, Lucy Liu’s Viper, Jackie Chan’s Monkey and David Cross’s Crane).And this is only the tip of the iceberg, particularly when Po’s long lost dad turns up (Bryan Cranston), threatening his step-dad’s (James Hong) position, and taking his focus just as a dastardly ancient warrior returns from the netherworld, Kai (J.K. Simmons), intent upon stealing the Chi of every master he comes up against.
It will have you hooked throughout, irrespective of age, and if this is the quality of the latest sequel you can see why they’re talking about more.
It’s Black’s baby though, and he utterly embraces the typically self-depreciating role, like a child in awe with his skills and powers, kicking ass with an utterly fun-loving attitude which can’t help but have the effect of leaving you grinning throughout. The jokes are both clever and well-timed, hitting home but far from providing the only interest in this surprisingly well thought-out affair, whose story is arguably the strongest of all three films, posing a veritably real threat to Po and the Furious Five and, indeed, the whole kingdom, and taking the action and set-pieces to another dimension of pure awesomeness. Fantastic fun for all, it’s great to have the panda(s) back.
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