Synopsis: A lazy and witless panda with an obsession with martial arts finds himself inexplicably fulfilling an ancient prophecy as the sixth member of a legendary quintet, the “Furious Five”, charged with protecting the realm.
Description: A DreamWorks animated film starring Jack Black as the slacking panda, Po.
Review: The first in what is currently a two piece series about an animated panda Kung Fu Panda does exactly as its name suggests and is a fairly average family movie from Spielberg’s brainchild studio DreamWorks.
The film is very much aimed at kids and as such lacks that magic ingredient that make its competitor Disney so popular: the pull for an adult audience; there are very few double sided jokes that both parents and kids can enjoy, it lacks the class and creativity of Finding Nemo and as such remains simply a mildly entertaining children’s movie without the spark or memorable qualities of its rivals.
The characters are fairly bland and irritating to an adult audience, even if children may find their antics and toilet humour hilarious, it is all just a little bit old and over done by now; we all know Jack Black plays loud, fat and lazy characters, here he has decided to push himself even less by only devoting his voice to the role, maybe we should be thankful for small mercies in this case. Whilst the setting is an entirely standardized depiction of the traditional Chinese culture and is precisely what you would expect to see during the martial arts revival of Hollywood in the early 2000s.
The cast is somewhat surprising, yet shockingly stereotypical boasting voice contributions from Lucy Liu and Jackie Chan, these do little to heighten the mediocre and predictable script however.
Visually the animation is as good as you would expect it to be, neither boundary pushing and innovative or beautifully classic, technically it is well crafted and consistently mildly impressive; but like the rest of this movie it stands out very little.Kung Fu Panda,