UK Release date: 10th June 2011
Watched on Sky+ Monday 7th May 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
Since I quite enjoyed the first one I thought I’d give the second KFP movie a look (I’m a bit of a fan of animated films anyway). If anything I must say I enjoyed this one a bit more, it seems DreamWorks have learned a thing or two in the intervening three years. All the characters from the first film are back plus a new nemesis for Po; here’s a brief summary before I tell you what I thought of it.
The film opens with the story of Shen, a peacock who has been told by a soothsayer that he will be defeated by an enemy in black and white. He immediately sets out to deal with this enemy before the prophecy can come true. He parents are left with no choice but to banish him. Years later Shen has returned with a weapon, a weapon so powerful it could mean the end of Kung Fu! It’s up to Po and the Furious Five to stop Shen and save Kung Fu! Also, Shen knows the secret of Po’s origins and he may use this to get in the way of their victory. I will not say any more or the Spoiler Police (Kung Fu Division) will be using me as a practice dummy (again).
DreamWorks animations have a very particular style and I must say I like it; reminds me of old (non Disney) cartoons on TV. On the performance front, decent work all around from the voice talents of; Jack Black as Po, Angelina Jolie as Tigress, Dustin Hoffman as Shifu, Gary Oldman as Shen, Jackie Chan as Monkey, Seth Rogen as Mantis, Lucy Liu as Viper, David Cross as Crane, James Hong as Mr. Ping, Michelle Yeoh as Soothsayer and Jean-Claude Van Damme as Master Croc.
This film has a well written plot with likable characters and some excellent gags along the way (it easily passed the ‘six laugh test’). I also liked the musical score by John Powell and Hans Zimmer, some nice themes that go well with the visuals. One or two of the gags didn’t quite come off (for me) but I can forgive that for a very well put together entertaining film… Recommended.
My score: 7.5/10
IMDb Score: 7.4/10 (based on 62,521 votes at the time of going to press).
MetaScore: 67: (Based on 31 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 81/100 (based on 161 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 79/100 (based on 90,056 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Po: How can kung fu stop something that stops kung fu?
Po: My fist hungers for justice!
[his stomach belches]
Po: That was... my fist.
Soothsayer: Your story may not have such a happy beginning, but that doesn't make you who you are. it is the rest of your story, who you choose to be... So, who are you, Panda?
Tigress: I hope this turns out better than your plan to cook rice in your stomach by eating it raw and then drinking boiling water...
Po: This is nothing like that plan.
Tigress: How so?
Po: Because this one is gonna work.
Monkey: [On seeing a poor person being mistreated by a wolf over cooking rice] Po, do something.
Po: How am I suppose to help her cook rice without getting caught?... Wait, I have a better idea!