Kung Fu Panda 2 - Blu-ray Review

'the hints that this hasn't been particularly thought out very well start on around the thirty minute mark... when the final battle starts'

Typically, film franchises don't get quite this thin of plot until they make it to their third (or even fourth) offering, so you've got to hand it Kung Fu Panda 2 for getting its mid-life dip in just under the wire.

The hints that this hasn't been particularly thought out very well start on around the thirty minute mark... when the final battle starts.

Yes, that's right. Kung Fu Panda 2 holds the record for the longest final third in any film, ever. Po (Jack Black) meets antagonist Shen (Gary Oldman) right about then and the battle, excluding a few brief breaks for things that should have formed whole acts, rages until the final scenes. It shows just how little thought has gone into plotting this, the final hour becoming a snooze-fest of running battles, running jumps and running pratfalls. That's a lot of running, very little talking.

As such, the strongest moments of humour come from the visual gags. There's a few lovely moments in the marketplace where the gang dress up as a Chinese festival dragon but, really, that's about it for the well-produced humour too. Save for a riff later on about villains and heroes talking to one another, the rest is based around Po's Kung Fu inadequacy, which we spent a long time with in the first film.

The hand-animated DVD menus, end credits and flashback scenes are all lovely and it does, eventually, work up enough of a story to suggest a viable starting point for Part 3. If that is to pass though - and it surely will, given the box office numbers involved - there needs to be some more thought put into storyline and a little less time spent choreographing boring battles.

Look further...

'a prime example of a film that should have been a champion quickly becoming an also-ran through a few key mistakes' - Some Like It Hot Fuzz, 6/10


  1. I'm remember watching this and really enjoying it but almost everyone else has mixed/negative view on the film. May have to watch it again and see if I feel the same.

    Particularly liked Gary Oldman's Shen, harks back to his more flamboyant villains from years past.

    1. I think Shen's pretty good - only character in the film who has a proper arc and backstory though. Didn't realise it was Oldman until the end credits. Enjoyed the first one, just pretty disappointed in this.

  2. I admit, in the humor and character development department, the first film is far superior. I thought it lined up well with a lot of other action movies with little plot though, such as “Mission Impossible IV”. I suppose I’m a sucker for CGI and “Battleship” like movies. This is a perfect “lazy” movie though that I watched off and on the other day on my iPhone. I downloaded the Dish Remote Access app when I started working at Dish, and now I love filling up time with a few movie minutes. My Sling Adapter at home sends the live or recorded TV through the internet, so I have a lot of choices anywhere I go.

    1. As a quick, on-the-go, film I suppose its OK but it just felt so thin to me. Would rather watch CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS or just anything with a bit more quality really. Hopefully the third one will get it back on track.