My opinion right after watching film
My opinion right after watching the film is that it is very predictable. I saw every single twist and turn coming from a mile away, and I do not know how much longer they can continue this franchise without it getting stale. There is still a lot that is good in the film, and there is a good amount of detail put in the characters and how the story took place, I can see that things are getting a bit redundant.
It was announced in 2010 that there would be 6 films, or “chapters” to this franchise, and this film was announced to the public in 2012. A third of the film was produced in China by Oriental DreamWorks, while the rest was produced in America.
The story starts with Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim) fighting with a friend/turned rival named Kai (J. K. Simmons), who has defeated most of the Kung Fu masters, and collects their chi, while turning them into crystal charms. Oogway tells him that the more he takes, the less he will have, and the Dragon Warrior will stop him before Oogway is defeated. We are taken to the real world, where Po (Jack Black) is engulfing in his fame, before Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) announces that today will be his last class, since the Dragon Warrior will teach the classes from now on. Long story short, it does not end well, and everyone hears about Po’s failed teachings.
He is told by Shifu that in order to have the master and learn the power of Chi, you have to master self, and ask who you really are. Kai is making his way to the real world, but he is a comedic villain because no one knows who he is, since he is that old, and it kind of damages his ego for a few seconds.
Almost instantly, Kai shows up with his jade crystals, which evokes a great battle scene with the 5/Po, and the crystal legends. They look through a bunch of scrolls, and finally knows who Kai is after they read a scroll. Shan tells them that the universe sent him a message to go after his son, which makes Mr. Ping (James Hong) jealous. So they learn that Pandas still exist in secret, Kai and Oogway were friends, but the power of chi broke them apart since Kai was too greedy. Shan uses this as a way to bring Po home, but neither are aware that Mr. Ping sneaks into one of their bags to go with them.
Mr. Ping continues to feel left out by Po bonding with his biological father, and gets a bit too bitter for my liking if I were to be honest. Po is told about what happened to his mother (we saw what happened in the second film, as some sort of a flashback), and Po tells his father that he will never lose him again. Kai gets to the palace, and engages in a fight with Shifu and the remaining members of the 5, where all but Tigris (Angelina Jolie) is turned into a crystal gem, and she makes her way to the secret panda area, which she conveniently finds very easily……… Anyways, we deal with the bullshit and predictable liar revealed plotline, where Po gets annoyed that his father refuses to teach him chi, only to admit that he lied about that to get him to come to the panda area. The fathers bond on lying about their motivations, and everyone makes up.
It is time for the big climax after Po plans their strategy, and everyone starts to fight. The other pandas fight off the other crystal jades well enough, and Po manages to distract Kai enough so he can use the move he was taught in the first film on him, which fails. Po is almost turned into a crystal jade, but the other Pandas finally get Chi, which they use to save him. He battles Kai in the spirit world, and ends up defeating him.
I am going to keep this extremely short, since nothing of note really changed amongst any of the characters in the film at all.
One thing that the company gets right is the animation. I love how they always explore new aspects into China, and the forestry was very exquisite. The movement in animation has gotten better and better, and the special effects are more beautiful and complex within each film. It is brilliant.
When focusing on the music, there is nothing really to say about it. It is good, but there are no songs, and the score is the typical epic Chinese score we have received throughout this entire franchise.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on January 23rd in China, and the 29th in most other places, it made $142 million domestically, and $375 million elsewhere, with an international total of $517 million as of May 16th.
In regards to the critical reaction, there was a lot of positive reception by critics and audiences alike. Many liked that it continued the trend and formulas from the other films, and continued the story like a good sequel should do, but many people felt like it was just passable.
= 31/40 = 78%