Kung Fu Panda 3, not quite as good as the first one but much better than the second and a solid ending to what I hope will stay a trilogy. This review is mostly spoiler-free as the film comes out in NZ theatres 23rd of March 2016.
It’s definitely worth a watch, if not to finish off the series and get the depressing second instalment out of your head, then at least for the childish lols, animated action, and chit chat.
Without giving too much away directors (the returning) Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni start us off in the Spirit Realm- where we get to see Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim) again and meet the film’s big bad, Kai (J.K. Simmons).
Kai and Oogway used to be best buds but Kai went darkside and started stealing chi, life forces, until Oogway defeated him and sent him into the spirit world.
However Kai keeps stealing chi while there and eventually steals enough to get himself back into the mortal realm. Must be like that them loyalty cards where you collect enough stamps to get a free coffee- but instead of stamps you collect lives and instead of a free coffee you get a trip back to the realm of the living, so maybe not like a loyalty card at all.
Right so Kai now in the mortal world goes after the only one destined to defeat him- Po (Jack Black), the Dragon Warrior.
Kai has the worst timing ever because Po’s not only dealing with his new gig as a teacher (which he kinda sucks at) but also the return of his father who’s a Panda.
So Po’s having a bit of an identity crisis- I mean he’s only just realised in the last movie he’s adopted and that the noodle-peddling goose Mr. Ping (James Hong) isn’t his biological dad. But now his actual biological dad, Li (Bryan Cranston), turns up in the Valley of Peace looking for his missing son.
Great timing on Li’s part because Po needs to learn some things from the Pandas.
His mates, the Furious Five — Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Viper (Lucy Liu), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Mantis (Seth Rogen), and Crane (David Cross) — stay back to keep watch but well it wouldn’t be much of a story if they successfully kept Kai at bay while Po learned what he needed to learn and came back to defeat Kai with the flick of a wrist now would it?
The film definitely has enough to keep the kids entertained and give the adults a few chuckles. The visuals are stunning- apparently watching it in 3D is the way to go for this one- the music is on point- it is Hans Zimmer after all- and there are a couple of new characters that are great, but not make a new film just to see more of them great.
- “If you only do what you can do you will never be more than you are now.” Yo that’s deep, Master Shifu, deep.
- So you mean to tell me NONE of the older Pandas retained any knowledge passed down from the generation before? No one. C’mon!
- Kate Hudson’s Mei Mei was great, but I could see her getting annoying. Also I knew her ribbon dancing could easily be used as a weapon. But my favourite was the hugger, hands down- “I don’t even KNOW you!”
Trailer below if you haven’t already seen it: