Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Review: Kung Fu Panda 3

World of Blackout Film Review

Kung Fu Panda 3 Poster

Kung Fu Panda 3 (2D)
Cert: PG / 95 mins / Dir. Jennifer Yuh Nelson & Alessandro Carloni / Trailer
WoB Rating: 5/7

A great start to Dreamworks' latest installment in the Kung Fu Panda series is the BBFC card itself. Bearing the PG rating-logo and associated colour scheme, the only supporting information or guidance is the words "Mild martial arts action". Firstly, I love that this was worth putting on front-street for a movie called Kung Fu Panda. Secondly, it's slightly ironic that this movie has better fight-choreography than most grown-up action movies. And is a damn sight more fun.

The overall style of the saga has really come into its own now, and the very first scene in this threequel feels like throwing on an old comfortable hoodie. It's not just the quality of the animation itself that makes KFP what it is, but the cinematography and editing as well. Stylised enough to pay homage to both traditional Oriental artwork and more the schlocky martial arts movies of recent years, while still feeling entirely like its own thing.

The film is the usual mix of visual slapstick, scripted gags and a little bit of soul-searching. The latter is more muted this time around, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The more reflective moments are always fighting a losing battle with mawkishness, but there's more than enough of the silly humour to keep things rolling along well. There's certainly the feeling that these movies could push a more philosophical message if they worked harder to balance it well, but that could well be at the cost of what makes them so much fun in the first place.

A comfortable addition to the canon, Kung Fu Panda 3 does what it does well and gives the audience plenty to chortle at. Dreamworks Animation will never be Disney, but while they're able to reach this high, maybe they don't need to be…

So, watch this if you enjoyed?
The other Kung Fu Panda flicks.
Having knowledge of the lead-ups is desirable, but you'll still have fun if this is your first

Should you watch this in a cinema, though?
For the quality of the animation, yes. Everything else will be fine once it hits DVD/BRD.

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
Pretty much, although that could be because it's not stretching too far this time around.

Is this the best work of the cast or director?
Really not sure I'd go that far, but everyone can safely put this on their CV, yes.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Yes, but is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
I didn't hear one..

Yes, but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 2: KFP features the voice of Bryan Cranston, who also stars in Trumbo along with Alan 'as yet unnamed role in Star Wars: Rogue One Tudyk.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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