Sunday, July 21, 2024

KUNG FU PANDA 4 is a fine entertainer that appeals to the whole family. Movie Review: KUNG FU PANDA 4 is an entertainer that appeals to the family.

Star Cast: Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, James Hong, Awkwafina, Viola Davis, Dustin Hoffman

Kung Fu Panda 4 Movie Direction: Mike Mitchell

Kung Fu Panda 4 Movie Synopsis:
KUNG FU PANDA 4 is the story of a protagonist wanting the status quo while trying to fight an evil villain. All is well in the Valley of Peace under Po, the Dragon Warrior (voiced by Jack Black). Mr Ping (James Hong), Po’s adopted father and Li Shan (Bryan Cranston), Po’s biological father, have adjusted to each other and they open a restaurant. Suddenly, Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) orders Po to find his next successor. Shifu further tells Po that once he does so, the latter will become the Spiritual Leader of the Valley. Po is reluctant as he’s enjoying being the Dragon Warrior. Meanwhile, some villagers alert Po that Tai Lung (Ian McShane; antagonist in the first part) has returned. Po decides to defeat him. This is when he catches Zhen (Awkwafina), a thief, stealing ancient weapons from the Jade Palace. Zhen happens to hear about Tai Lung’s return during her arrest and informs Po that Tai Lung is none other than The Chameleon (Viola Davis), a powerful sorceress who can shape-shift into any animal she wants. Zhen also claims to know about The Chameleon’s whereabouts. Po decides to go to The Chameleon’s lair and defeat her, against the advice of Master Shifu. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Kung Fu Panda 4 Movie Story Review:
Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger and Darren Lemke’s story is decent but also convenient. Amusingly, it gives a déjà vu of PATHAAN (2023) while one scene reminds of a comic sequence in WELCOME (2007). Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger and Darren Lemke’s screenplay is engaging and like the previous parts, the writers pack in a lot in less than 95 minutes. Hence, the audience gets the feeling that they have got their money’s worth despite the short run time. The dialogues are terrific, be it funny or the philosophical one-liners.

Mike Mitchell’s direction is neat. The fourth part introduces new characters and thanks to his execution, the audience will instantly form a bond with them. The series is known for cuteness and this film is no exception. At the same time, like always, the makers raise some important points about life without getting preachy. Some of the scenes that stand out are the restaurant inauguration, Zhen and The Chameleon’s entry, madness at the Happy Bunny Tavern, Po being betrayed and the pre-climax.

On the flipside, Po’s squad is surely missed. Secondly, the makers take the lazy route while taking the story forward. Hence, certain developments happen conveniently without a convincing reason. For instance, Shifu suddenly realizes that Po needs to find a successor. Similarly, Po blindly trusts Zhen when she tells her about The Chameleon without even double-checking her claims. Lastly, the climax fight begins well but to see the antagonist, who’s so powerful, being defeated rather easily, is a downer.

Kung Fu Panda 4 Movie Performances:
The voiceovers are apt be it Jack Black, Bryan Cranston and James Hong. Awkwafina’s voiceover stands out and is praiseworthy. Viola Davis’s voice adds to the effect. Dustin Hoffman is, as expected, flawless, as Master Shifu. Others are fair.

Kung Fu Panda 4 Movie music and other technical aspects:
Hans Zimmer and Steve Mazzaro’s music is grand and exhilarating. Joshua Gunther’s cinematography is stylish. Paul Duncan’s production design is top-class. The animation and the various effects match global standards. Christopher Knight’s editing is slick.

Kung Fu Panda 4 Movie Conclusion:
On the whole, KUNG FU PANDA 4 is a fine entertainer that appeals to the whole family. At the box office, it has the potential to surprise and give a tough fight to the new and holdover releases.

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