Kung Fu Panda 2

Rating: ★★★★☆

I like Po’s commitment and enthusiasm. He has gone from mopping floors and serving plates at a noodle bistro to being declared as China’s ultimate protector, The Dragon Warrior. In this worthy sequel, the call is clear for The Dragon Warrior’s skills as China is faced with a new threat. With a joyful spirit and an active appetite, it is of great news that Po is ready for another adventure. Foes should be fearful. Once they hear the first echo of a rumbling stomach, they should start running away.

A new villain rises as Lord Shen, a depraved peacock, plots to end kung fu and take control of China. He has created a special mechanism that shoots fiery balls of fire and metal. So in short, he has made a very powerful cannon. Lord Shen comes off as a more dangerous villain than the one in the first installment because he is accompanied by a vast army of wolves. The structure of the animal kingdom here is interesting in a way that a peacock is able to command these wolves without ending up as breakfast. I guess this is okay, since it would be harder to imagine an evil wolf in charge of a legion of peacocks.

Anyway, while Lord Shen is busy constructing ammo for his weapons, Po is advised by Master Shifu to learn inner peace. But Po is distracted by involuntary flashes from his past, making him wonder about his true origins. Only now does Po really think about how he, a panda, could be fathered by Mr. Ping, a goose. Such questions bother our hero, but those will have to wait; Lord Shen and his wolves need to be stopped.

So Po is accompanied by The Furious Five, and the simultaneous display of jokes and action sequences that made the original so popular is repeated. This is still fun, but it’s nothing more than what the original already did. There are even moments where it felt… less. During the film’s first third, I admit that I was underwhelmed.

My hopes remained high, and I am glad to announce that something wonderful happens. (Remember Po and his quest to uncover his past?) The movie unexpectedly, and conveniently, takes a break from the frequent fights and fooling around. There is a scene of silence and sentiment that saves “Kung Fu Panda 2”, and from that point till the movie’s end, I remained in an impenetrable circle of happiness.

Oh, how I loved the last third of “Kung Fu Panda 2.” All of a sudden, it wasn’t just about the action anymore. We learn to love Po, and not just be amused by him. I think this is what defines a true hero.


  1. ” I guess this is okay, since it would be harder to imagine an evil wolf in charge of a legion of peacocks.”

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