Film Kung Fu Panda 2 (English)
Cast: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan
Director: Jennifer Yuh
When movies began to be more than just photographed stage plays, when they began to distinguish themselves through editing and photographic techniques and came to be considered worthy of being “reviewed,” like the older arts, and when the august occupation of film criticism was announced, who could have imagined that practitioners of the profession would find themselves, one day, attempting to analyse a story with a stuffed toy for a protagonist?
This is the crisis the critic faces every summer, held captive by sequels and superhero sagas. There's plenty to write on. But what do you write about?
You could, of course, make the reverse argument for the latter part of the year, when we are glutted with glum dramas determined to deposit their cast and crew on the Oscar podium.
But at least for the reviewer, there's meat to chew on.
The only meat inKung Fu Panda 2 is on the person of Po (voiced, once again, by Jack Black).
In the first film, he learnt that he could be whatever he believed himself to be.
Here, after realising that he's been adopted (he's not exactly the brightest of bulbs, given that his father is a goose), he learns that your parents aren't necessarily the ones who birthed you but the ones that brought you up.
This wisdom comes about as Po faces the evil Lord Shen (Gary Oldman), who murdered his father and mother (or so we think, until the end opens up possibilities for a second sequel).
Shen is this film's triumph.
Whoever thought of a peacock as a villain had the right idea — this is a vain creature with plumage that flows like a royal robe and crowned with a crest.
It's no surprise he wants to rule China.
To see him being killed by Po is to imagine Darth Vader's annihilation by The Three Stooges. It can happen only in a cartoon movie.