The first Kung Fu Panda film had its charms, but considering the standard already set by PIXAR films, it was underwhelming. A lot of imaginative supportive characters were introduced only to have them underdeveloped and underused. It was a good family film but by no means exceptional.
Now comes, the sequel. Frankly, it suffers from sequelitis. Everything is just bigger, but is it necessarily better? Not quite. But first and foremost, this movie has to be without a doubt, Dreamworks most stunning animated film to date. Everything about the visuals is just spectacular, from the smooth animation and fight choreography to the beautifully rendered vistas and locales. The budget was put to good use indeed. Moreover, I saw this film in IMAX 3D and it was an excellent showcase of the technology and admittedly made the film a whole lot better. Visuals aside, this film had potential but ultimately did not live up to it. There’s a very deep story in here but its put aside by the relentless action which puts the characters in one action set piece to another without rest. Its quite exhilarating and exciting especially for the viewer but in the end character development was sacrificed and even though the filmmakers tried to throw some dramatic, sappy moment in the climax, it was all for naught as the audience felt no connection with the characters by this time. It’s a failed potential really and quite disappointing. Also, there’s lesser laughs this time around as the jokes about Po’s weight and body build gets repetitive as it was in the first. Hans Zimmer and John Powell create yet another powerful action score that’s reminiscent of their other productions with heavy strings and loud percussions, its really quite fitting for the movie and is quite better than the first. Overall, the film is still a very entertaining, if not mindless fun with stellar production values.
If you have to watch this film, watch it for the amazing visuals and not for the depth and storytelling seen in PIXAR films.