Nov 9, 2008

MOVIE REVIEW: "Kung Fu Panda"

I'm a sucker for digitally-animated movies so when I heard kung fu, a panda and the voice talents of Jack Black would be combined into one film, I was like "CH'YEAH! Right on!" Kung Fu Panda is an adorable story of Po (voiced by Jack Black), a noodle-making panda who is chosen by a kung fu master to be a great warrior and defeat Tai Lung, a villainous snow leopard who turned evil as his skills grew. He is trained by Master Shifu, a tiny but mighty red panda (voiced by Dustin Hoffman), in part with The Furious Five: Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu) and Crane (David Cross). Although the story has been done about a thousand times before (what story hasn't?), it's still one worth telling in a film generally aimed at children: You can do anything you put your mind to, no matter how unlikely it seems. Also, the colors in this film are stunning. The bright details of the Chinese country are gorgeous. The setting of this movie might even rival that of Finding Nemo, actually. But I digress. This film is adorable, but I thought there were some areas where it could have been improved. I loved the Shifu character. Hoffman has a really great voice for the character. Plus, I have a soft spot for tiny characters who kick some serious ass. Jack Black, not surprisingly, is a natural when it comes to voicing a chubby, lovable panda. In fact, I'm pretty sure Black was a panda in a past life... Maybe not a kung fu master, by any means- but a panda just the same. This movie involves so much action but when it comes to the end battle between Po and Tai Lung- SPOILER ALERT!- it seems like the battle is too easy for Po. Tai Lung should have at least given Po a challenge. Also, they should have given The Furious Five more lines. There was a lot of star power in those five characters and yet they wasted a lot of screen time with the noodle shop story line that wasn't that interesting... Of course, maybe I'm just feeling that way because I'm a David Cross fan... Yeah, that's almost definitely it. My official rating: 6.5 noodles out of 10.

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