How is it that save for a preview of the third part of Kung Fu Panda I haven't even MENTIONED Kung Fu Panda on my blog!?
Okay, so Kung Fu Panda 3 is out on Netflix and boy oh boy, that movie is phenomenal. But rather than sing this movies praises to the point of being obnoxious (like I did with Undertale) I'm going to sit down and give a review of the movie. Although, spoiler alert, this movie is obviously very good considering I literally opened up with saying this movie was phenomenal.
For those of you who somehow haven't seen Kung Fu Panda despite the fact it is easily the most successful movie franchise that Dreamworks has ever created, Kung Fu Panda is a series of action/comedy films starring Po, a 20-something-year-old panda who LOVES all things related to Kung Fu. And note, when I made the preview for this movie, I called Po an Otaku. But I made a whoopsies. Otaku is a term used for people who idolize Japanese pop culture, such as songs, anime, and songs from anime. However, the Kung Fu Panda movies don't take place in Japan. They take place in CHINA. Granted, It's very easy for someone who clearly hasn't been to either country to mix the two countries up like that. I promise I won't do that again. Hopefully.
But on to the actual review. So Po here has stopped a envious snow leopard named Tai Lung from destroying the Valley of Peace. He also learned that a paranoid peacock known as Lord Shen butchered the same panda village he was born in. And in this movie, he meets his biological father, Li Shan (pictured above, the one on the left). So happy reunions all around! But what's a Kung Fu Panda movie without a villain?
The main antagonist of this movie is a yak that goes by the name of Kai. And I got to say, out of all the villains Dreamworks has created for it's movies, Kai is probably my favorite. I like Kai since his motive his very simple. All Kai wants is to be powerful, so he takes power from others to become more powerful. That level of simplicity combined with his hilarious personality and awesome fighting style (he has flipping chain whips with broadswords on the end!) make him a cool and entertaining villain. The only downside is how the main reason Kai is evil is he feels betrayed by Grand Master Oogway (the turtle dude from the first movie) when he first discovered the power of Chi. They never explain WHY he felt betrayed. Or why he wanted the power of Chi in the first place. In fact, out of all the Kung Fu Panda villains, Kai is the least fleshed out. But like I said, Kai is a memorable villain in my book.
But here's the thing. Kai can only be defeated by someone who can use Chi (a.k.a. Kung Fu magic!). So Po has to learn how to use Chi himself since Kai is tracking down every warrior in China, stealing their souls and turning them into jade talismans while making his merry way to becoming the most powerful being in the universe. And Li Shan claims that he knows how to use Chi. So Li Shan takes Po to a secret panda village (that we got a sneak peak of at the end of the second movie).
That's basically the premise of Kung Fu Panda 3. Well, actually, it's more like the spoiler-free version of the premise. The story of this movie is actually really good, But there's one thing, and it's a really small thing, but the panda village is a secret. Only Li Shan knows how to actually get there. The Furious Five stay behind in the Valley of Peace to protect it while Po (as the Dragon Warrior, Po is the guardian of the Valley of Peace) is away training with the pandas. So when SPOILER ALERT! Kai destroys the Jade Palace and steals the souls of four members of the Furious Five as well as Po's sensei, Master Shifu, with Master Tigress being the only one to escape. Tigress goes to the panda village to warn Po about Kai. But here is where my little problem comes in and I am 100% sure that I am the only person that makes a big deal out of this, but HOW THE HECK DID TIGRESS FIND THE PANDA VILLAGE WITHOUT A GUIDE!? The only logical explanation for this plot-hole is that Po and Li Shan left a very obvious trail while travelling to the panda village. It makes sense for Kai to find the panda village because he can sense the chi of other life-forms and he can summon living jade statues to have them scout ahead. But seriously, Dreamworks. Explain to me how Tigress could find the supposedly "secret" panda village so easily. Explain! EXPLAIN! EXPLAIN!!!!
The panda children in this movie are almost impossibly
cute, if this little girl doesn't make it obvious.
On the plus side, this movie is amazing in terms of graphics and music. Especially the music. ESPECIALLY Kai's theme. It. Is. Glorious. Speaking of Kai's theme, random fun fact! His theme is a remix of "I'm So Sorry" by Imagine Dragons. Not that I'm complaining since I really like Imagine Dragons. So yay for awesome music!
As far as graphics go, this is by far the most visually impressive movie I've seen Dreamworks make. The panda village itself is very colorful and filled with little details that make my eyes say "Wow, that's really nice to look at!". The character design is also good, as it mixes the cartoon-y-ness of having every character in the movie be, well, a cartoon animal. But it throws in a bit of Chinese culture, and if you know me, then you know that I LOVE cultural influences in media. Because I find stuff like that fascinating!
Po has become a Super Saiyan! His Power Level
is OVER NINE THOUSAND!!!
But the main thing that some people feel hurt this movie is how it's kind of more of the same. But I never had a problem with it since Kung Fu Panda 3 has enough "new" things that make it stand out from the first two films. Unlike Power Rangers, which (sorry for the off-topic rant here) gets annoyingly repetitive. Especially the older seasons of Power Rangers. "Spencer, stop ranting about Power Rangers and Get back to the review!". Thank you for reminding me, Mr. Nonexistent Guy Who Reminds Me to Do Things!
some characters, like Tigress,
got redesigned for this movie.
Something else I have to praise this movie for is the action sequences. Now I myself watch a lot of action movies and tv shows. THIS MOVIE has some of the BEST action sequences I've seen in a long time. Every fight seen is beautifully animated and choreographed. The comedy of this film is also good, since this movie is genuinely funny (then again, Jack Black, the voice actor that plays the role of Po, can take literally any character and make them into a never-ending fountain of laughs).
Overall, I give Kung Fu Panda 3 a 9/10. The only reason this movie DIDN'T get a perfect score from me is that little plot-hole about Tigress inexplicably finding the Panda village on her own (that one is completely subjective and you may not be bothered by it) and the fact that Kai is not the most fleshed out villain in the world. Don't get me wrong, Kai is easily my favorite Dreamworks villain because A; he has a cool fighting style, B; Actually feeling like a threat (the thing that matters most to me when it comes to antagonists is whether they actually FEEL like a threat to the hero and/or the hero's friends and loved ones) and C; having the most amazing theme in the history of cinema (okay, second most amazing theme in the history of cinema. Nothing can top "Imperial March" from Star Wars).