Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) – movie review

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Movie review by Jamie Homer

Starring: (voices of): Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, Gary Oldman, Michelle Yeoh, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Victor Garber, Dennis Haysbert
Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson

The second instalment in the KUNG FU PANDA series is a lovely, surprising and touching story-line that is one of the better, if not the best, computer animated films I have seen in a long time. The 3D computer animation is fantastic; literally edge of your seat â” jump out at you â” imaging.

Directed by Jennifer Yo and featuring most of the 2008 cast, including Jack Black as Po, Angelina Jolie as Tigress, Seth Rogan as Mantis, Gary Oldman as Lord Shen as well as Jackie Chang, Dustin Hoffman, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Lucy Liu to name a few others, is as good a sequel as you will find this year.

The story begins with Lord Shen being banished from his home by his parents and follows him as he acquires a technologically superior weapon that will enable him to conquer all of China. The loveable warrior ” on the path towards higher enlightenment â” star of the film is Po, aka Jack Black. Po is a strong warrior but still needs to grow and mature into his skin and with the help of Master Shifu (aka Dustin Hoffman) as a mentor and guide he hopes to find his inner peace. Po, along with his band of 5, must figure out a way to defeat the evil of Lord Shen and his weapon of mass destruction (good enough reason to go to war really) and in the process (and a nice bi-line to the main story) discover where he came from and how he ended up in his village. And also answer the question of where are all the other Pandas? Heâs in search of his roots and an identity and will need to return to where it all began for him to gain a sense of inner peace (literally).

Itâs a lovely film and I enjoyed it immensely – as did my five year old daughter â” although I would add it was a tad scary for such a young viewer. Its definitely worth a look and Id suggest that you try and see it on the big screen, as the animation is too great to view it any other way.

5 out of 6 stars