'Kung Fu Panda 3'
Directors: Alessandro Carloni, Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Cast: Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, J.K. Simmons, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu
'Kung Fu Panda 3'. Pic/Santa Banta
This third installment of the 'Kung Fu Panda' franchise may not be the best, but it certainly gets most of its mechanics right. Arriving eight years after the first Kung Fu Panda movie, 'Kung Fu Panda 3' has the lovable martial artist panda Po (Jack Black) return to form with his inimical geniality - thus making the resultant experience extremely jovial and full-of-beans.
Po reunites with his long-lost father Li (Bryan Cranston), and the pair travel to a secret panda sanctuary where, they must team up to defeat an evil, ancient force and restore the kung fu order. Not much of an ask in terms of storyline but the ensuing springy-spoofy-action makes this a worthy comedy.
Po's former master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim) is relaxing in the spirit realm, where he is confronted by bullish warrior Kai who plans to steal the 'chi' a.k.a life force, of a range of masters. His quest is expected to be rewarded when he bests the last earthly master of chi, who happens to be none other than Po.
Po has yet to takeover as master of the arts in the training school that master Shifu is retiring from. And a few destructive rounds of action with old pals Tigress, Mantis, Viper, and Monkey don't help him decide. Then comes his biological father and Po's identity crisis becomes a thing of the past.
The narrative is strong on emotions, pulses with dramatic energy and is quite visually enchanting. The colours are delightful, the lightness of touch gives it a strong enough dose of revitalizing humour and the thematic relevance is winsome. The fluid and comely animation adds strength to the enchantment. It's an invigorating path to enlightenment paved as it is with wit and charm. A cross-cultural blend of Chinese Wuxia epics and American Geek culture, Kung Fu Panda has 'Perseverance and introspection as the key that strengthens and enforces a stronger ideal' as it's 'chi' and it's brought out quite winningly!
Watch the trailer of 'Kung Fu Panda 3'