If you’re looking for a family-friendly movie this weekend, be aware that “Kung Fu Panda 2,” which opens today, is “a little darker and a little more intense than the first film, especially for very young viewers,” says Post critic Michael O’Sullivan. In his review, he calls the movie about the big furry panda with the killer martial arts moves “a satisfying if less than sensational sequel.” And you might be surprised how many parallels you can find between this Jack Black-voiced character and that of another orphaned boy-hero, who will also be on lots of movie screens this summer, Harry Potter.
To hear more about how “Kung Fu Panda 2” measures up to its predecessor, see this excerpt from O’Sullivan’s full review:
“Po the panda (voice of Jack Black) returns in pursuit of inner peace, the defeat of a murderous peacock (Gary Oldman) and the truth about what happened to his real parents.
What? You didn’t actually think that Mr. Ping (James Hong), the noodle-making Chinese goose from the first movie who raised Po as his son, was actually our hero’s biological father, did you? We need to talk.
There always was that nagging — and much commented on — genetic impossibility at the heart of the original “Kung Fu Panda”: How on Earth could a waterfowl have spawned a giant, 250-pound bear cub? Daddy’s a bird, for crying out loud. The new movie puts that question to rest. It’s both a story about Po’s search for his origins and a reckoning with the bad guy responsible for Po’s identity crisis (Oldman’s Voldemort-like Lord Shen).”