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Kung Fu Panda 2: Movie Review

Ah, the perennial sequel - a sure fire way for a movie to suck big time. Most sequels are usually a tad below the first film and we believe the reasons are either (or even both) corporate greed is running the floor or the writers are uninspired and are forcibly pushing an "interesting" storyline. If you include the high expectations the audiences are already inclined to then definitely no one is going to be showing a smile once the sequel starts. Case in point is "Kung Fu Panda 2" - it was a big hit back in 2008 and in fact, it was even nominated in the Academy Awards. Can the sequel prove itself to be better than the first or will it suffer the same fate as most sequels do? Read on to find out what we think.

Po (Jack Black) is now living his dream as the fabled Dragon Warrior and has lived a rather comfortable life protecting the citizens at the Valley of Peace. All changes when the town is attacked by a mob of wolves who intend to get all the metal they can get their hands on. Po and the Furious Five thwarts the attack but Po suddenly has a flashback to when he was left by his mother and the panda soon finds out that he was actually adopted. They also discover that the attack was organized by Lord Shen (Gary Oldman) who has a secret weapon that not only threatens to end the art of Kung Fu but also get all of China for his own selfish deeds. Po and his cohorts soon embark on a mission to stop the evil Lord and along the way, Po might just find out who he truly is.

"Kung Fu Panda 2" is your typical sequel. It was actually an underwhelming experience compared to the first film and yet we also feel that it was good enough to merit an almost perfect score. The biggest culprit for "Kung Fu Panda 2" is its story (as expected). We had a sense that it was somewhat forced and the open-ended conclusion did not help our sentiments. It was like watching a made-for-TV plot line at best. Another thing we noticed about "Kung Fu Panda 2" are the dated visuals. It was quite surprising to see such horrendous textures on a high-budget film - it still boggles us up until now. Even though there were scenes that were truly breathtaking, most of the film was not. Where's the effort in the Visuals Department Dreamworks? What saves "Kung Fu Panda 2" is by sticking to the winning formula presented by the first one and actually improving on it. The action sequences are better and more fun while the punchlines are hilarious. Does "Kung Fu Panda 2" suck? Well, it doesn't but it definitely not better than its predecessor.

Rating: 3 and a half reels





Why you should watch it:
- still a deserving sequel to an awesome first film
- more action sequences means more fun
- the best bit for "Kung Fu Panda 2" are the endless punchlines

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the story feels a little bland and a little forced especially the ending
- visual-wise, the film had its moments but most of the graphics look dated for some reason


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