Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) Movie Review
“If you only do what you can do, you’ll never be better than what you are.”
In the conclusion of the “Kung Fu Panda” animated series, Po (Jack Black) is starting to realize that he has a lot to learn before he is able to fulfill the prophecy of the dragon warrior and defeat the new villain Kai (J.K. Simmons) who is destined to destroy Po and return to the Mortal World and rule. Meanwhile, Po is reunited with his father (Bryan Cranston) and must learn to be a teacher to train a group of loving pandas in a secret panda village in order to defeat Kai. He must also learn how to truly be a Panda and discover himself in the end.
Let me get this out of the way; this third installment in the series produced by DreamWorks Animation is probably the weakest in the series. But, this doesn’t stop it from being a great amount of fun and a worthy conclusion to this awesome series.
First off, the animation is stunning and looks great. That is something you should expect and DreamWorks eye for details shows. Especially in the last ten minutes of the film, there are some truly beautiful colors being mixed together and it looks astoundingly fantastic. It also looks convincing for an animated film definitely.
The film is directed by Jennifer Yuh, whose previous works include “Kung Fu Panda 2.” She does a great job at bringing us back into this story and making it a fun movie. This is without a doubt one of the better animated films in recent years and it’s simply so much fun. From start to finish, it’s action-packed, well-written, visually stunning and an entertaning ride. The newest characters are solid editions as well and end up adding a lot to the film. Kai is a great new villain to the series and is voiced so well by Simmons, who sets the perfect tone for his characters. Angelina Jolie voices Tigris extremely well once again and does great justice to her character along with Chan and the rest of the crew. Jack Black voicing Po is by far the best though. He brings a lot of heartfelt aspects to his character and he is totally sellable as his voice.
The film surprisingly has an emotional core, especially when Po is reunited with his new father. Po’s adopted father that raised him for many years feels like he has to give him up and doesn’t want to lose him. There is also times when Po has to figure himself out as a person and learn to be a Panda since he grew up with none. These aspects bring a lot of realism to the story and make it feel a bit more mature with it’s messages, yet it never loses its’ quality or fun entertainment value. The film blends itself with some great action scenes, funny humor and there you have it. It lacks poop jokes which a lot of animated films have and us annoyingly. This, however, is refreshing in that way.
The musical score composed by Hans Zimmer is great. Zimmer may be my favorite composer (whose previous musical talents produced in films like “Interstellar,” “The Dark Knight,” and “Inception”). The soundtrack works for the film extremely well and blends in with the themes and the action rising in the film perfectly. It isn’t overused either, it fits in just perfectly. The screenplay is great as well. It delivers some great humor and themes presented in the film.
However, this film isn’t perfect (some of which come from being just a family film). It did lack a little in the first twenty or so minutes, and it isn’t anything truly original or mind-blowing. It’s also extremely predictable in many ways, but that doesn’t stop this from being great family entertainment.
“Kung Fu Panda 3” in the end serves it’s purpose extremely well as a worthy conclusion to the series and is a great family film. It’s a lot of fun and visually stunning from start to finish, and the new characters are as worthy as the returning crew. It may not be the most amazing film, but that doesn’t stop it from being hilariously written and great entertainment for all ages.
Final Rating : 8/10