Kung Fu Panda 3

After a solid two films, the Kung Fu Panda franchise has settled well into its fighting rhythm. Kung Fu Panda 3 continues the quest of the Dragon Warrior Po (Jack Black) as the student reluctantly becomes the teacher in order to face off against an even greater foe who has returned from the spirit realm. The mysteries surrounding Po’s parenthood reach their peak as Po is reunited with his biological father, revealing that he isn’t the only panda left in the world. It’s everything you would want out of the third chapter in the trilogy.


Despite having earned the title of Dragon Warrior and defeated both Tai Lung and Shen, Po still believes he has much to learn from Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman). So it comes to his surprise and to the surprise of the Furious Five when Shifu names him the new teacher. Meanwhile, an old nemesis, Kai (J. K. Simmons) who had previously been banished to the spirit realm, has been busy stealing the chi of old masters in order to break free from his restraints and returns to the mortal realm to conquer everything and everyone with his newfound power. Once again, the fate of the word rests on Po’s stomach.


The ending of Kung Fu Panda 2 revealed that Po’s biological father was still alive, and that there was an entire village of pandas still in existence. A big portion of Kung Fu Panda 3 revolves around the reunion of Po and his father, Li Shan (Bryan Cranston). At one point in the past the pandas were masters of chi so Po travels with his father to their village so that he can master chi and defeat Kai. Li Shan doesn’t care too much about all this kung fu nonsense and is just happy to be with his son once again. Mr. Ping (James Hong), having raised Po since he was a baby panda, is more devastated than happy because now that Po’s real father is back in the picture what room is left for him?


Kung Fu Panda 3 is full of everything that has made the franchise great so far; exciting fighting sequences, great humor, and gorgeous animation. It’s the best looking Kung Fu Panda by far and demonstrates how much the franchise has grown over the years. There aren’t too many films I would recommend seeing in 3D, but Kung Fu Panda 3 is a must-see. It’s absolutely stunning.


The characters we’ve grown to love all return including Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Crane (David Cross), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu), and Monkey (Jackie Chan). And we’re also introduced to a few new ones, too. J. K. Simmons is wonderful as the new villain, Kai, whose swords attached to chains lead to some interesting fights. There’s also Mei Mei, played by Kate Hudson, who trades in her ribbon stick for a pair of nunchucks. Then of course you have Bryan Cranston playing Po’s father. I honestly couldn’t imagine a better fit.


Action, drama, comedy; Kung Fu Panda 3 has it all. There is never a dull moment throughout the film between the witty dialogue and the beautiful backdrops. Both kids and adults alike will have a blast. Po may have mastered the art of chi, but DreamWorks have mastered the art of animation. Kung Fu Panda 3 is the best the franchise has to offer.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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