Skadoosh! Kung Fu Panda is Back for a Third Time

Jack Black returns as Po in this third installment of the Kung Fu Panda series from DreamWorks. Photo courtesy of DreamWorks Pictures

By Taylor C. Berrier

Roll out the red carpet for this star studded cast, as Kung Fu Panda 3 takes over the big screen this weekend and sets to unhinge the box office from its Academy Award stigma of showings left over from the winter break of anti-blockbuster cinema.

As far as children’s animation goes, Kung Fu Panda is one that borders the line of adolescence and manages to captivate all ages of moviegoer. There’s something in it for everyone: the philosophizer, the athlete, and even the romantic. This is a series that has planted its roots deep within the animation world and has been able to broaden the streak that DreamWorks has over it opponents. It’s cutting edge, it’s avant garde, it’s riveting from head to toe.

Jack Black (Goosebumps, School of Rock) brings his vocal A-game, as does his entire supporting cast. This is a comedy group that’s a force to be feared in cinema, with names like David Cross (Arrested Development), Seth Rogen (The Night Before), and even the comedic dabbler/genius Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Malcolm in the Middle). But this group is accompanied by an equally great action line up consisting of Lucy Liu and Jackie Chan. And might as well make it a trifecta with sheer acting talent that extends deep into the recording story as well as the Academy’s recognition. J.K. Simmons, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Kate Hudson. I’m leaving several names out as not to completely spoil you before you go see it for yourself. Yeah, the list goes on.

It’s worth checking out, even if your kids don’t really leave you with a choice. First thing you are going to want to do is double-feature the first two Kung Fu Panda’s if you haven’t seen them already. Secondly, forget about the kids, see this movie for you, and in that spirit, splurge on the 3D format. It’s worth it and you’re worth it. Any 3rd movie in a movie trilogy franchise deserves the 3D ticket and the experience that comes with it.

It’s a smooth move, as the action flows well and the dialogue is anything but a snoozefest. This movie is pure adrenaline with a hefty helping of smile to go along with it. Jack Black carries the character Po well with emotion and person attachment as would be expected by an actor in his third go around with their character. His grasp of Po’s growth throughout the story is comparable to that of an Ip Man 3’s Donnie Yen. It might have been what was missing with the first Kung Fu Panda, appropriate background that actually made me care about the character. Well, this is exactly where Kung Fu Panda 3 hits its mark, as I came to understand this animal kingdom of kung fu just that much more to the point I did not have to try very hard to be entertained. It’s that natural Jack Black bliss, as you get to see an actor’s real life evolution of career and talent side by side their character’s as told in the story.

DreamWorks doesn’t need you to see Kung Fu Panda 3, but you might actually regret it if you don’t, as this movie is currently hot among the current line up of films. Afterall, not everyone wants to watch a man get mauled by a bear. Animals fighting animals – much more entertaining.

Go see Kung Fu Panda 3 in theaters now and check out the official trailer below. Prepare to be amazed. Skadoosh!