Animation Meets Action: A Kung Fu Panda 3 Review

At first I thought that having a third installment to the Kung Fu Panda franchise might be pushing it too far already, especially that we’ve already got a Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness going on at Nickelodeon. But then again, a third film is inevitable given the fact that the second movie openly showed that Po’s biological dad is still alive.
And so Kung Fu Panda 3 did happen, and thankfully it still turned out to be (more or less) just about as good as its predecessors.

Kai (J.K. Simmons), a spirit warrior who used to fight with Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim), has escaped from the spirit world and is out to steal the chi of Kung Fu masters in the mortal world. Kai learns that he id destined to be defeated by the Dragon Warrior, and so he vigorously seeks the said Po to steal his chi. 

Having been reunited with his long lost father, Po travels to the secret panda village, as they discover that chi is an innate ability of the panda colonies. Po must now learn how to live like a panda as it was said that Kai can only be defeated by a master of true chi.

Just like with the previous films, the action is what appealed to me the most with Kung Fu Panda 3. The fighting sequences and choreography were decent enough for an animated film, and it’s actually compelling to see each animal’s unique fighting style. Parents or sitters who were forced to tag along with their kids in the cinemas would still have a great time, especially with the film’s witty script that may have been able to discreetly squeeze in some adult jokes every now and then.

To the kids, the visually stimulating animation and adorable characters would be the source of the film’s charm.  The animation was gorgeous, and the film was able to use this spectacle effectively in its storytelling. The plot itself however, was not something we haven’t heard of before, and much of the storyline was actually predictable right from the start.

The biggest downer of the movie though would be its villain. The first and second Kung Fu Panda films have well-developed bad guys who have a solid background for  their motivations. The latest installment’s Kai on the other hand, was one-dimensional and would easily blend in with the regular goons that I see in some of those Nickelodeon episodes. For someone who was supposed to have fought along Master Oogway, Kai turned out to be pretty lame.

Kung Fu Panda 3 was fun to see, and is something that both kids and adults may enjoy. The storyline was so-so and the villain was uninspired, but the witty script, absorbing animation, and intense Kung Fu action would be entertaining enough to keep you on your seats.

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Credits to the images and videos used in this post go to “Kung Fu Panda 3” and/or to their respective owners. I do not own these materials. No copyright infringement intended.


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