Editor’s note: We all love movies, but rather than ask a syndicated columnist who has never visited our beautiful High Desert, we commissioned our own movie critic: Nolan P. Smith to review films and give us a local perspective. Enjoy.
By Nolan P. Smith
High Desert Daily Movie Critic
Yes, everyone was Kung Fu fighting once again.
(Victor Valley)–The sequel to Dreamwork’s monster hit, Kung Fu Panda, has touched down for the Memorial Day weekend. Having massive shoes to fill, the film does exactly what a sequel should do: respect what came before, add to the lineage of the story, and to be an overall better product that its predecessor.
The film follows the adventures of Po (Jack Black), the panda dragon warrior who comes to face to face with the reality that he may be adopted (well, his dad couldn’t really be a bird, right?). A new villain rears his head in the form of peacock Shen (Gary Oldman), which leads to some, ahem, explosive battles including the climax of the film. Po isn’t fighting this alone, as the Furious Five have returned as well to kick some tail. Back are the familiar voices of Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Dustin Hoffman, Seth Rogen, and Lucy Liu, and new to the game are fighting movie staple Jean-Claude Van Damme and comedian Danny McBride. The voice acting is top notch, as are the visuals in this animated adventure.
Watching the film is a visual buffet: the artwork, textures and character designs shine from beginning to end. The introduction and flashback segments are done in drastically different styles, which really cause them to stand out nicely. With the addition of 3D this time around, the film really takes advantage of the benefits of a 3D film, making this one a must to see with the funny glasses.
Kung Fu Panda 2 strikes with ferocity, overshadowing the first film in story, character development and visual presentation. A movie for all ages, this is one that should not be missed: and spring for a 3D showing, it’s worth it.