I’ve always been a fan of the Kung Fu Panda movies. Call it what you will, a panda bias (because I love bears and pandas and bears LOL) or my leniency towards animated film plots, it doesn’t matter because I had a great time!
For those who remember the end of the second film, you’d recall that distinct scene wherein another panda in some other region suddenly says, “My son is alive?”
Of course from then on, we all knew that a third movie was bound to come out, it was just a matter of time, haha! And here we are, finally we get a peek at what Po’s life would have been like if he did live his life with a pack of pandas.
The villain this time is one of Master Oogway’s brother-at-arms from a long time ago. His name? Kai. And he has deemed to wander the Spirit Realm, collecting the Chi of all the previous Kung Fu masters the dwelled in that realm, just so he could finally settle his beef with Oogway.
But let’s backtrack to Po and his gang. Po is faced with a new challenge as the Dragon Warrior – teaching! Master Shifu finally steps down as their Kung Fu Master in the Jade Palace and hands it over to Po, who is now to teach The Great Five. It doesn’t end up very well.
Going back to Kai, apparently, the only way to defeat him is through being a Master of Chi, something the Pandas from Oogway’s time taught him (which kinda made Kai uber jelly of Oogway, hence his vengeful campaign against the turtle).
So when Po finally meets his father, Li Shen, he is offered to be brought back to the Panda Village to be taught the Mastery of Chi so he can save the valley from Kai’s path of destruction!
Of course, things aren’t what they seem and Po is still left questioning who he is and what he is capable of – as himself, as a teacher, as a Panda, and as the Dragon Warrior. 🙂
The movie is a little superficial, it’s true. You can’t really expect an animated film that was specifically made for children to have a super deep plot. But I thought it had the right amount of feels for it to be effective, and, admittedly, those feels brought a couple of tears to my eyes.
It wasn’t boring, to say the least. Because there’s a little comedy (I mean, come on, it’s Jack Black) sandwiched between the action-packed scenes. I especially liked the moments when the movie would go slow-mo on some of the Kung Fu moves. Those were pretty cool.
All in all, I think it’s a good movie to watch, even on the big screen. The story comes full circle. The plot points from all three movies ultimately connect and Po the Panda, who has always been confused about who he is, finally gets the closure he needs to discover his own capabilities.
Of course, with the help of the people around him. Something that we often times forget about. 🙂
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