<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Alessandro Carloni, Jennifer Yuh Nelson. Starring the voice talents of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, Randall Duk Kim, JK Simmons, Kate Hudson
Running Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Everything you’d expect from this franchise that knows exactly what it is and isn’t afraid to kick ass and be what it wants to be!
It’s cutesy, its visually stunning, has a distinct look and feel about it and has a message as well. Kung Fu Panda sticks to form on this next adventure for Po the Panda (Jack Black) and his group of friends: Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman), Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Viper (Lucy Liu), Mantis (Seth Rogen) and Crane (David Cross). Now the Dragon Warrior must save all the ‘masters’ from the evil Kai (JK Simmons) who has turned Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim) into a jade Chi stone and wants to destroy Po to become the ultimate ruler of the land.
As a side story, Po finally bumps into his real father Li (Bryan Cranston) who takes him along with his other dad Mr Ping (James Hong) to Panda land where they frolic about till of course Kai decides to find them and hack them to bits.
The kids will like Kung Fu Panda 3 for its multi-coloured splendour and cutesy characters. The adults will like it for the masterful visual spectacle and slick editing. It’s one of those franchises that knows its target audience and knows who it really is: a message that is echoed through the film as well. Playing to your strengths is sometimes better than changing things up drastically.
I loved the production values, the music and the Chinese patterns that are woven in with the sketchy flashback sequences giving this film a look unlike any other. And that moment where Po ‘teaches’ his new Panda family how to fend off their attacker using all their existing skills gave me goose bumps.
There’s nothing outstanding or revolutionary here but it’s good, solid animation with a reasonably sound plot to keep you entertained.