Kung Fu Panda 2 is an animated martial arts family film directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson. The plot sees new Dragon Warrior Po (Jack Black), go on a voyage of self-discovery after finding out that he was adopted. Said journey brings him to an evil Peacock called Shen (Gary Oldman), who wants to wipe out Kung Fu and take over China; Shen also knows what happened to Po’s parents.
I admire this film for a lot of reasons, namely that it is a sequel that justifies its own existence being just as good if not better than the first film. Much like another DreamWorks sequel Shrek 2 this film doubles down on the characters and expands them in interesting ways. The mythology behind Po’s parents raises a lot of intriguing questions for the lore of this world and the response by Po as a character furthers his arc as he grows in maturity.
My one critique of this film would be that it does not show the same level of care and development towards the other characters, namely the Furious Five. I enjoyed the scenes that Po and Tigress (Angelina Jolie), have together and think that they have a promising amount of on-screen chemistry. However, as a character Tigress is vacant, the same can be said for Po’s other martial arts friends they do cool stuff, but we know very little about them and they suffer as a result.
Overall, it is nice to see Po’s character journey continue in a worthy sequel.
Justifies its existence
Is just as good if not better than the first film
The wider cast are left out in the cold
Reviewed by Luke