Kung Fu Panda 2

High on EQ (Emotional and Entertainment Quotient) but low on plot. Get ready for this summer’s roller coaster ride. “Your Highness, watch-out for the Dragon Warrior. He is huge, dangerous, FAT and CUDDLING.” as told by the Wolves army general to Lord Shen (Gary Oldman) the peacock that plays villain.

So when the creators of such a successful venture sit down to write a sequel, where do they begin? Are there any incomplete tales from the original that could be explained in the sequel? How do we strike a balance between the characters in the Original vs. the Sequel ? How not to repeat the gist of the original but keep it as entertaining? Well, Kung Fu Panda 2 does have the answers to all the above questions.

Po (Jack Black) the Dragon Warrior emerges victorious and establishes himself as an iconic figure in the first movie, however his father is a goose and not a Panda. This gives ample scope to build up on the Panda’s roots in the sequel. Where did he come from, who were his parents, why did he get separated? Finally when the script arrives at a point where the Panda realizes that the villain was the cause for his painful separation, well well, you have a “Amithabh Bhachan – Pran” like dishum dishum climax. Did I mention that the plot was weak? Well, if not weak, one could call it redundant !

Now what makes this movie extremely watchable ? Inner Peace. Stealth Mode. Death of Kung Fu. Recovery of Kung Fu. Radish Basket. Kung-fu Panda sized dumpling. Leagues of Justice. Highly decorated and savvy villain who rehearses his dialogues. Acceptance. Daddy Issues. And the list goes on !

Po’s discovery of Inner Peace in this sequel reminds you of his initial journey as the dragon warrior. What starts off as a big joke, becomes intense and world-saving towards the end. One can’t avoid goose bumps, when Po does the Inner Peace stunt correctly. Watch out for the hilarious conversations revolving around Inner Peace between Po and Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman).

Animation, being the strong point of this venture, amazes us with the attention to detail. Po’s pupil coloration and contraction, Peacock’s feathers, different textures in the goat’s horns, hats-off to you guys! Custom-made (Chinese-kung-fui) back-ground score by Hans Zimmer and John Powell makes the production team all geeky! Jack Black’s timing and sense of humor is not kid’s stuff. People who don’t have a taste for animated movies or those who thought animated movies are just for kids please be prepared to re-think about your stand.

Master Oogway does the Dreamworkz pictures’ fishing stunt! See that’s how you strike a balance between characters in the Original vs. the Sequel. Keep your eyes and more importantly your ears open if you don’t wanna miss the FUN!

–Varun Mannava.

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