After last week's low key superhero affair, with BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE not living up to expectations, this week we see the release of the third installment in the KUNG FU PANDA series. Much like the previous two films, KUNG FU PANDA 3 follows Po the Panda's escapades as he takes on the forces of evil. But will the film live up to its predecessors or will it like most franchise installments be a rather stale telling of a similar and predictable story, is the question.
The story of KUNG FU PANDA 3 starts off when Po's long-lost panda father suddenly reappears. The reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters. But when the supernatural villain Kai begins to sweep across China defeating all the kung fu masters, Po must do the impossible - train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas.
The film starts off with Master Oogway battling Kai in the afterlife, as Kai is hell-bent on capturing the 'chi' of all the kung fu masters. The battle ends badly for Oogway who falls prey to Kai's attacks. From here the story then shifts to the current world where Po, the Dragon Warrior has become the master and has to train the five. Unfortunately, Po is disastrous as a master ending up quite literally almost maiming them. However, this light moment is interrupted with news that Kai is making his way back to destroy the memory and all that Oogway has created.
As a Kung Fu Panda fan,the viewer will go in for yet another thrilling ride with loads of action and comedy. However, unlike the previous films, KUNG FU PANDA 3 focuses more the spirit world and finding yourself. Though there is action, it isn't like what we had come to expect.
As for the voice overs Jack Black leads of course, followed by the other cast members Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen, David Cross and Jackie Chan. However, two new actors who join the cast this time, namely Bryan Cranston, J.K. Simmons and Kate Hudson, bring the new characters in the franchise to life with their brilliant voice overs. With spot on dubbing and equally crisp animation KUNG FU PANDA 3 is worth every dime. Besides, not only is the animation and 3D excellent, but the film also packs good amount of humour with constant gags that will definitely tickle your funny bone.
Sadly this time, it is the story and screenplay of the film that has failed to impress. The narrative lacks the twists and turns and feels predictable in parts. As a viewer, you wish the film something more going in it then Po fighting yet another villain.
Despite this, KUNG FU PANDA 3 is highly moving with a great message that focuses on family and knowledge. Kids especially are likely to relate to the happenings on screen and will certainly enjoy the fun light moments that are generously spread across the film.
On the whole, KUNG FU PANDA 3 is an entertaining film, however, you will be left wanting more.