His fist and his belly hunger for justice. He is black and white, and gigantic. He wears a pair of shorts and knows the secret of the Wushu Finger Hold. He is the Dragon Warrior, who saved the Valley of Peace from the evil Tai Lung. He is Po, the noodle-loving, Giant Panda son of the owner of a noodle shop, the Chinese Goose, Ping.
Po (Jack Black) is now a hero in the Valley, and he, along with the Furious Five who were once his heroes and now his closest friends, work together to keep the Valley safe. Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman), leads a happy, almost-retired life, and Ping (James Hong) is content with his flourishing noodle-shop, thanks largely to the popularity of his son. All is well, till Po decides to ask a few questions about his origin, making Ping insecure.
In the meantime, Master Thundering Rhino (Victor Garber), who leads the Kung Fu Council that protects Gongmen City, is brutally killed by Lord Shen (Gary Oldman). Lord Shen wants to destroy Kung Fu in China, and has even invented a deadly weapon, the likes of which the world has not seen, and which may destroy China. Master Shifu commands the Furious Five and Po to leave for the City and stop Lord Shen and his band of Wolves and Gorillas before it is too late.
Will Po stop the weapon that will stop Kung Fu? Will the self-absorbed Lord Shen get away with another genocide? And will Po find inner peace and discover his true identity? To know the answers to these nail-biting questions, and more, you must watch Kung Fu Panda 2, on 3D.
Since 2009, Dreamworks has produced their animated films on stereoscopic 3D, and their latest, Kung Fu Panda 2, is enchanting, to say the least. The action sequences will make you jump in your seats, even as you dodge soup bowls and cannon balls. Po's choreography with a drop of water will make you want to reach out and touch him. And when the Soothsayer (Michelle Yeoh) keeps nibbling at Lord Shen's robe, much to his ire, you can almost feel the smooth silk sliding through your fingers.
Then, there are the dream sequences and flashbacks - pure artistry, inspired by Chinese paintings. Jennifer Yuh Nelson was a part of the story team in the previous movie, and she obviously knows the characters inside out.
The surprise item in the crew is Charlie Kaufman, who was apparently roped in to rework on the screenplay. It worked. The music is first-rate, but since comparisons are inevitable, one misses the punch that Kung Fu Fighting added to the earlier movie.
Jack Black was born to be Po, and this is now official. He plays the confused, ever-hungry, simple Dragon Warrior with panache.
And there is nothing quite as sinister as an antagonist with a British accent (think Scar from Lion King, the White Witch in the Narnia series, Magneto in the X-Men series, Sweeney Todd, and Tai Lung from Kung Fu Panda, amongst others), and Gary Oldman as Lord Shen delivers his villainous dialogues with Ã©lan.
Much as Po loves the Furious Five, they do not speak much in this movie. Their presence is prominent, of course, but Angelina Jolie as Tigress has about 5 lines, and the rest - Jackie Chan as Monkey, Lucy Liu as Viper, David Cross as Crane, and Seth Rogen as Mantis - even fewer. Master Shifu is hardly seen, but we hope that this changes in the next movie. Yes, there will be a next, if the cliffhanger ending is anything to go by.
Till then, indulge in twice the awesomeness and be enthralled by the anthropomorphic Kung Fu masters of Ancient China.