Best Movies of All Time + Seth Rogen

More Kung Poo than Kung Fu
©“Prepare for awesomeness'' reads the tagline toKung Fu Panda 2, the sequel to box-office smashKung Fu Panda. Come the end credits, you will be wondering exactly where the awesomeness you were supposed to prepare for was. After being deemed the Dragon Warrior in the first film, the second picks up with food-loving panda Po (Jack Black) and the Furious Five warriors being tasked with a new and dangerous mission - defeat the evil peacock Lord Shen (Gary Oldman).
The screenwriters really want this to be a cute animated story that unites all of us.
Essentially the character of Po is a young man, living his life, when suddenly - kapow! He's the Dragon Warrior and he's forced to deal with something. Anything. Can we have a villain here? Oh, wait, there's Lord Shen - a Hitler-esque character complete with his very own Holocaust where he swaps killing Jews for killing pandas. The script plugs too hard for an emotional arc - a journey of self-discovery - when the best thing about the firstKung Fu Pandawas the frivolity.
The character of Po is literally Jack Black in panda form, there's no added features or altered voice work. When Po speaks, you just see the chubby comedian. The rest of the voice cast, who actually try and manipulate their pipes to create more believable characters, are completely underused. Talent like Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen, Dustin Hoffman, Oldman, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Danny McBride and even Jean-Claude Van Damme barely get a few lines. DreamWorks Animation would have paid the big bucks for them, so it seems wasteful for the film to be taken up with Blackisms.
Visually,Kung Fu Panda 2is faultless and the closest DreamWorks has come to rivalling the superior Pixar. The animators deliver a one-two punch with a combination of first rate computer generated animation in 3D and more traditional, 2D animation used in flashback scenes. Unfortunately a pretty pictures does not a good movie make. With story and humour both lacking,Kung Fu Panda 2is a school holiday film only young children will find amusing. For the rest of us, it's a boring and been-there-before 90 minutes.
Kung Fu Panda 2is out Thursday, June 23.

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