Po Go with the

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH www. kung­fu­panda. com Now show­ing Vil­lage Cin­e­mas

AS FUN as the 2008 an­i­mated hit Kung Fu Panda turned out to be, there was al­ways a grey area con­cern­ing the movie’s black-and­white hero.

You should know ex­actly what I’m talk­ing about. And if you don’t, well, you’ve flunked Movie Bi­ol­ogy 101.

Come on now. You must have no­ticed a cer­tain phys­i­cal dis­sim­i­lar­ity be­tween the head­strong young Po ( voiced by Jack Black) and his wise old dad Mr Ping ( James Hong).

A lard-car­ry­ing panda the son of a card-car­ry­ing goose? And no ex­pla­na­tion through­out the first Kung Fu Panda as to how this can pos­si­bly be? Again I say: come on now. Mov­ing to right this wrong, the mak­ers of Kung Fu Panda 2 get right down to back­story busi­ness from the open­ing scenes.

It is here we learn that Po’s real ma and pa were the vic­tims of a China-wide purge of pan­das, per­son­ally or­dered by the psychotic war-mon­ger­ing peacock Lord Shen ( Gary Old­man).

Shen is none too pleased when he learns Po sur­vived the cull, par­tic­u­larly as it was proph­e­sied that a panda would one day prove his un­do­ing.

And so Po and his merry band of mar­tial arts mas­ters, the Fu­ri­ous Five, still spear­headed by Ti­gress ( An­gelina Jolie) and Mon­key ( Jackie Chan), are placed on a col­li­sion course with dark forces al­lied to the vil­lain­ous Lord Shen.

Get­ting the bet­ter of this bad dude will not be easy, as Shen has de­vel­oped a mon­ster can­non that over­pow­ers the magic of kung fu ev­ery time.

To prop­erly as­sess the mer­its of Kung Fu Panda 2, you must com­pare it to two other films.

The first, of course, is the orig­i­nal KFP, along­side which its No. 2 stacks up very well in­deed.

The up­grade to 3D is worth­while, the story is a solid re­fine­ment of the best bits from be­fore, and the bal­ance be­tween light hu­mour and darker drama is well main­tained.

Se­condly, if you put Kung Fu Panda 2 head-to-head with the other an­i­mated se­quel hit­ting cin­e­mas of late, you would have to say the slick Cars 2 is beaten for the check­ered flag by the burly panda bear.

Kung Fu Panda 2 has a bet­ter plot, su­pe­rior vo­cal per­for­mances – yes, that even in­cludes Jean-Claude Van Damme as a kooky croc­o­dile – and gives off a lit­tle bit of soul that its ri­val lacks.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.