Directed by: Jennifer Yuh
Starring: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Gary Oldman
I wasn’t very impressed with the first Kung Fu Panda. It was just like every other Dreamworks CGI movie, a bunch of celebrities voicing a bunch of animals. Mediocre, at best. Well, for the first time ever, I’ve decided to watch as many oscar-nominated films as I can this year, and this is the first of them. Honestly, if Kung Fu Panda 2 won best animated film this year, I wouldn’t be all that surprised.
Po, the panda kung fu master, must face his… nextest challenge yet: Gary Oldman is an evil peacock, and he invented a cannon, which is likely to make kung fu completely obsolete. He and his group of other interracial kung fu masters must stop the bad guy, or else… bad… stuff.
To be perfectly frank, the kung fu movies where they deal with the advent of guns or cannons are some of the most interesting stories you can tell in the genre. Check out Legend of the Drunken Master for a good example. They didn’t dwell on it too much here, but it’s still a good, classic kung fu story to base a kid’s comedy off of. Mostly what makes Kung Fu Panda 2 way better than it’s predecessor is the interesting power struggle between the infinite goofy energy of Jack Black and the pure evil which is Gary Oldman. It’s unexpected, it’s really damn good, and it’s easily worth watching the movie for.
On a nearly unrelated note, I just want to say that I’m really glad that people have finally found a good application for Flash animation. They use it a couple times in this movie, as flashbacks and dream sequences, and it’s always really stylized. That’s the way to do it, right? It looks like shit when you try to make it look good, so take advantage of its weaknesses. It may have taken ten, fifteen years, but people have finally caught on that you can use it in an interesting way. No matter how much I may rag on Flash (which is probably more than I’ve let on in this blog), I’ve always thought it had more potential than it seemed to get in the popular sphere of things. Does that make sense? I’m super fucking drunk right now. Good night!