A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

Kung Fu Panda 2 is bucketloads of fun and it swings. Boy, does it swing... and at times quite literally. The fight sequences are a zinger and as a long time fan of the genre I found the experience... exhilarating and rather impressive.
It's a terrific (albeit tongue-in-cheek) homage to the martial arts genre while retaining universal themes of friendship, family and courage. I'm not a huge fan of the Jack Black school of comedy but restrained by the limitations of animation all his usual over-the-top antics are kept to a bare minimum. We can all be grateful for small mercies.

Po, the eponymous panda, was designated the "Dragon Warrior" in the previous installment but the great mystery still remains: How in the world did a panda become to be fathered by a goose that ekes a living out of selling noodles? Well, the sequel gives the backstory in flashbacks complete with a rather dark tale of panda genocide -- ailuropoda melanolucacide. (Had to look that one up... added the -cide there myself) Po is no longer the panda he once was -- still spotting a paunch, played to the hilt for humour but looking trimmer now that he's become a formidable martial arts exponent and a guardian of his district along with the Furious Five.

KFP 2 can't really work unless it plays on the edges stereotypes and so it does with such good natured mischievous abandon that it's hard for anyone to take offence. I didn't and I can't imagine too many doing so.
I sat in a cinema... not full of but with a healthy number of children giggling and cackling at all the right places. 4 year old had her eyes glued to the screen when she wasn't... erm... prowling around for marshmallows or prawn crackers.
10 year old ooed and aahed over the cuteness of baby Po... yes, he really was a baby once... and this mum even a shed a tear or two during a couple of surprisingly moving scenes.

Watching this reminded me once again of the sad reality that the best things coming out of Hollywood in recent days are animated features.

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