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Kung Fu Panda 3

The first weak link in the chain.

Mei Mei (Kate Hudson), Li Shan (Bryan Cranston) and Po (Jack Black) - from Kung Fu Panda 3


- Kung Fu Panda 3 is, for me, the Thor: Love and Thunder of the series, forsaking any real substance to go for the laugh whenever possible.

- Make no mistake, this third film in the franchise is absolutely a comedy first with a smattering of action to round things out.

- It's a shame, because the first two films are excellent martial arts action comedies and this... really isn't.

- In fact, this is the first in the series that really feels like it should only ever be an animated movie starring anthropomorphic animals, thanks to its incredibly cartoonish nature.

- I could easily see the first two movies being adapted for live-action starring humans, and they have the proper depth to the story and characters to support it.

- Here, Po (Jack Black) is the only returning character to really be given any depth, with the Furious Five being side-lined to the point they might as well have re-cast them thanks to how little they do.

- And I flat out just don't like the new panda characters or spending any time with them, especially Po's (biological) father, Li (Bryan Cranston).

- I do find it an odd creative choice to spend a chunk of a new film with characters desperately trying to undo Po's development in the previous two.

- Some may view Li's actions as protective of his son, but we know as the audience that Po is quite capable of looking after himself and so his behaviour came across as selfish to me.

- Then there's quite a disappointing villain in General Kai (J. K. Simmons), who has a wafer-thin motivation and is more of a brawler than a martial artist.

- This leads to some sub-par action sequences that feel more like they belong in a superhero film rather than a martial arts story.

- Stripping away so much of what made the first two films so great is just mind-boggling and you have to wonder why some choices were made, because this just doesn't feel like a third part of the story.

- While the first two movies are, in my opinion, good for all ages, Kung Fu Panda 3 definitely feels much more like a kids-only film, even if it might well be the best-looking in the series. [4/10]


- The Quarry review will be coming next week!

- Looking at general guides, I think I'm around the halfway mark of Syberia: The World Before and really enjoying it.

- Mass Effect 3 is still great fun, even if I did have to bump the difficulty up to stop it feeling far too easy.


- I still haven't resumed my re-watch The West Wing yet, but that's more due to the lack of time; season five might not be that good, but it's not so bad that I'd try to actively avoid watching it!



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