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Movie Review: Kung Fu Panda 2

Yes, I enjoyed the first Kung Fu Panda. I thought the humor was great, the characters were endearing and the story was actually pretty decent. So, it was shocking to me when I actually found this sequel, Kung Fu Panda 2, better than the original.

I mean, it surprisingly exceeded my expectations in all respects. Not only did this film maintained the same level of appeal the original had, it also cleverly maximized on the elements that made it successful. I felt like some of the characters - especially Tigress - were fleshed out to a point where all of them fit comfortably in the story. True, I would've liked to see more of that character development in the rest of the Furious Five, but that's not something to barf at really.

The humor in this film was also pretty impressive. I dare say that this one was WAY funnier compared to the original. I liked that Jack Black's over-the-top antics were toned down in this, making the humor exactly the right amount at the right time.

Of course, the animation was extremely well done. In terms of texture and the lighting, it was possibly one of the best this year. I found the character animation to be really expressive, the cinematography was great and the frantic martial arts action were energetic and clever. The fight sequences and chases were also greatly orchestrated. Simply put, the visuals were top-notch.

As for the voice talent, I thought most of them were pretty convincing. I kind of enjoyed a fully matured character of Jack Black's Po. There were still a couple of silly dialogues, but I thought he delivered it with an impeccable comedic timing. His random funny comments and quirky attitude really came through in this film. The others were also quite good especially Gary Oldman and Angelina Jolie.

Now, I admit that the storyline could've been better as it was very linear and a bit predictable - just like its predecessor - but I thought it didn't hurt the movie's charm one bit. I expected something more than the usual premise of revenge and discovery, but there's something about it that I found personally very affecting - more so than I would have expected.

Overall, this was a genuinely great movie. With superb animation, interesting characters, not to mention great humor, Kung Fu Panda 2 ranks among the best animation this year yet.

Movie Review: Kung Fu Panda 2 Reviewed by DAM on 3:55 AM Rating: 5

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