Continuing his “legendary adventures of awesomeness”, Po must face two hugely epic, but different threats: one supernatural and the other a little closer to his home.
The Kung Fu Panda series has been fun. The first two movies took the most unlikely of creatures, an overweight panda bear, and turned him into a karate-chopping, ass-kicking hero. And having Jack Black voice him was a stroke of genius. By the end of part 3 however, like many trilogies, it felt like the story had run its course and it was time to wrap everything up. In an ideal world maybe, but should it make a lot of money (and I’m sure it will), Dreamworks will undoubtedly move forward with the inevitable part 4.
As Po (Jack Black) and his friends are living quietly in the Valley of Peace, their harmonious fellowship is turned upside down when Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) announces to the village his retirement and passes the mantle to Po. Initially, Po is ecstatic but when he discovers that he must create new techniques and teach them to his companions, he fails miserably. Soon thereafter, a panda bear named Li Shan (Bryan Cranston) appears and claims to be Po’s biological father. Po is elated and realizes that in order to be the best fighter he can be, he must return to the secret panda village with his father where he will be taught the ancient ways.
And not a minute too soon as Kai (J.K. Simmons), an evil chi master, who defeated the legendary Oogway (Randall Duk Kim), has come back from the spirit world and threatens to kill all who stand in his way. Now Po and his comrades, Tigress, Viper, Monkey, Mantis, and Crane, must band together and make a final stand, if they are to save the world, and each other in the process.
“Kung Fu Panda 3” is fun for the whole family and kids of all ages will have a blast but the energy and liveliness that was so prevalent and was the driving force in the first two movies, appears to slowly diminish as the film progresses. And as the final credits begin to roll, you realize that while the movie was indeed enjoyable, all good things must come to an end.
In theaters January 29th
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