Title: Kung Fu Panda 2
Director: Jennifer Yuh
Music: John Powell, Hans Zimmer
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Saw this one in 3D version at the cinema (4th time this year, after RIO, THOR and Captain Jack Sparrow), my expectation was not too high as I was in a numb state of receiving bombarding Hollywood summer momentum, a yearly-recurrent compulsory course (my sole anticipation lies in X-MEN: FIRST CLASS right away).
It turned out that the exotic appeal is roughly null to me (thanks to my Chinese identity), and confidently I can claim that I do prefer RIO after comparison. The Zen-inspired quintessence of the story is all-age beneficial but superficially indoctrinated and without any originality inside, the gags and set pieces are ample but in lack of a punchline. I find the editing is clumsy at some time and thwarts the coherence of the whole picture. The shadow play is a nice trick which makes amends for the corny plot of memorizing Po’s provenance.
A fully-fledged exploitation of Kung Fu and panda is foreseeable, nevertheless this time no improvement from its precedent, the original cast is on a stable level and new characters like evil peacock Shen and the goat Soothsayer all fall into flat.
The 3D effect work much better with animation than other SFX-padded live-action blockbusters, but I think an IMAX 2D could be a better choice. Due to its lukewarm North American box office, if the red-hot 3D trend will be put in a halt or a slow-down, I will be happy to see it (Although very probably the international income will eliminate this idea for the film companies).