Kung Fu Panda 3, screened in several cinemas in Colombo last week. DreamWorks Animation, Oriental DreamWorks, Shanghai Media Group and China Media Capital all worked together to produce this 3D animated American-Chinese, martial arts centred action comedy film. The third instalment to the series, made with a budget of 145 million dollars, raked in 355.5 million worldwide at the box office.
The movie begins where the last film left off, with Po (voiced by Jack Black) enjoying life as a Dragon Warrior. Things change when Master Shifu (voiced by Dustin Hoffman) announces that he is to retire, and that Po will be the new master and must teach Kung Fu. Of course, Po has a lot to learn and teaching obviously is going to be a process. This is both funny and predictable, but you are sure to enjoy it anyway, because of the creativity and animation, that make this movie fun to watch, especially in 3D.
Getting back to the plot, the key story unfolds when Po's father comes into the picture and at the same time a spirit warrior and collector, Kai (J.K. Simmons), attacks the Valley of Peace, after turning Kung Fu Masters into Jade statues that only he can control.
Kai who was banished for 500 years and is now power hungry, has stolen chi (energy flow/life force) from Grand Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim) from the Chinese Spirit Realm. The only one who can destroy Kai is a true master of chi. When they realize that Panda colonies have this innate ability, Po's father Mr. Ping offers to take him home to a secret panda village. Meanwhile the others are left to investigate. Things get worse, but Po is left learning how it is to be a panda. It's a movie that takes you back to when you supported Po in the last movie, if you watched it, this time as he tries to find his chi. But the question is, will there be a village left to save or will Kai destroy Po before he finds his chi? That's something you'll have to keep guessing until you watch the film but it's a funny well crafted film.
The 95 minute film is clearly loved by its majority young fan base and is a fun movie for the entire family. Then again, if you have seen the two previous movies in the Kung Fu Panda series, then this instalment may seem like it touches on the same sense of humour and jokes making it feel like you are somewhat watching a bit of a repeat if you think about the core plot, and how the story plays out.
The movie that seems to have a lot of giggle-able moments seems to have been promoted with a few funny tag lines, such as "Grab destiny by the dumplings". The film has received positive ratings, with an impressive 84% on Rotten Tomatoes, while IMDb seems to follow with an average 7.5/10 rating, but Metacritic features a low 66%, clearly showing a mixed viewer opinion.