Kung Fu Panda 3 - Is the Third Time the Charm for Fat Pandas?

Kung Fu Panda 3 - Is the Third Time the Charm for Fat Pandas?

The third film is usually when DreamWorks' franchises begin to head south. Can Kung Fu Panda survive this fate?

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Killing, but for kids...Hah! As if they can't handle the inevitable mortality and entropic decay of all life! Along with my underground well of tormented souls.

Is Bryan Cranston a pop-culture icon for the youngens now too? Weird, but acceptable. I was about to bemoan the old "just be yourself" moral lesson that is so many films now, but for kids it appears a much more relevant and needed lesson to take in when so many are looking to others to find their idea of identity.

That second-to-last paragraph, the one about how it seems to get stale after the second film? Nailed. It.

I saw this last night with a group of friends. We enjoyed it, but we agreed it is clearly the weakest of the three films. The supporting cast really does get shoved aside--I think Viper had three lines, so poor Lucy was probably wondering why she was there--and the new cast, all the new pandas, are just sort of...there. Only Po's dad offers really anything.

Perhaps my biggest gripe, and this is just a personal one and I'm sure not everyone agrees or even sees it, is that Po and Tigress didn't go anywhere. In the second film, I kind of got the feeling that something was growing between them, or at least Tigress was, especially during their scene on the boat where Po said, "So hardcore you don't feel anything!" and Tigress looks hurt, like, 'That's...all you see in me?' type of way.
I was really hoping we'd get a little bit more of that when they were sparring, but nope.

To be fair to it, most animated film series which get a third film are starting to get really weak by that point.

Aw, the second one might be one of the best films DreamWorks has ever done! right up there with both How To Train Your Dragon films!

Buuuut... Shrek 2 was awesome and the third one, well... the less we talk about it, the better.

It's a shame DreamWorks is uncapable of making a good "third" film.

EDIT: I just saw Chris Stuckmann's review and he really liked it (seriously, compared to Norm of the North, I think this is fucking Citizen Kane), so... If I ever get to watch this, at least I can expect to somewhat enjoy it and not completely hate it like with Shrek 3.

Rad Party God:
Aw, the second one might be one of the best films DreamWorks has ever done! right up there with both How To Train Your Dragon films!

Buuuut... Shrek 2 was awesome and the third one, well... the less we talk about it, the better.

It's a shame DreamWorks is uncapable of making a good "third" film.

Hold out hope for a good third How to Train Your Dragon?

On topic!

I was worried about this from the moment I saw it. I enjoyed both Kung Fu Panda movies before this, but it defintely felt samey by the end of 2. I definitely started gettin kinda annoyed at how fairly useless the supporting cast was. Its a super shame that it apparently gets worse in the third movie.

The main thing I remember about it is a long time ago when development was in the works, my sister (who's a huge Hannibal fan) was SO excited that Mads Mikkelson was supposed to be in it and now whenever I just mention the title she gets bent outta shape.

That little tidbit aside, I can see how it would be the weakest in the trilogy. First one was surprisingly good, I flat-out LOVED the second one (second favourite Dreamworks movie behind HtTYD) but like with Shrek, it just seemed like that was gonna be the case.

At least there's substance. Dreamworks generally makes good sequels whereas Pixar's just "...seriously? Cars 2? Finding Nemo 2? Monsters U?"

Even when he's saying something nice about a family-friendly movie, Marter sounds like he's being punished for something he's not sure he really did.

Spider RedNight:
The main thing I remember about it is a long time ago when development was in the works, my sister (who's a huge Hannibal fan) was SO excited that Mads Mikkelson was supposed to be in it and now whenever I just mention the title she gets bent outta shape.

That little tidbit aside, I can see how it would be the weakest in the trilogy. First one was surprisingly good, I flat-out LOVED the second one (second favourite Dreamworks movie behind HtTYD) but like with Shrek, it just seemed like that was gonna be the case.

At least there's substance. Dreamworks generally makes good sequels whereas Pixar's just "...seriously? Cars 2? Finding Nemo 2? Monsters U?"

Eh, depends on the sequels. Cars was as uninspired as they come and Monsters University wasn't anythin new, but Monsters University was at least competent. It was totally paint by numbers, but an enjoyable paint by numbers (again, unlike Cars 2). Jury is still out on Finding Dory. No clue where they're gonna take that one.

I haven't seen it yet. I was always concerned about this one since it was teased at the end of the second movie though. I mean for heaven's sake, the entire thrust of the second movie's character development for Po was to accept the sad memories of his past, appreciate the family that enveloped him and still be at peace with it.

Now his Dad is still alive...-_-

Right up until you see the Dad is still alive at the end of the second movie it really looked as if Po's story was complete and frankly beautiful. the scene in particular where Po achieves inner piece is particularly moving.

Really hard act to follow and from the sounds of it, they cocked it up.

I loved the second one the first time I watched it. But the second time I watched it, I began to get seriously annoyed with Po. Even though he's supposed to have matured some since the first movie, he was still acting like a bumbling dumbass in the second. And that was fine in the first movie. He needed to develop. And I'm not exactly expecting Po to turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger here, but FFS. Cut the crap with the immaturity already. It's just getting painful to watch now. And it looks like they did the exact same thing in the third movie, so I'm probably gonna be skipping this one.

Awww, less action? Then why would anyone even bother watching?

So... It's only slightly better than the animated series, which actually does delve into Shifu and the Furious Five's characters a lot more than you'd expect when compared to the third movie in the series? Meh... Still worth watching, I guess...

Other than that, does this mean Monkey gets even less lines than in the second movie?

Didn't even know there was another one. I mean, the first one was actually really quite good as far as these sorts of films go. But I guess the wells run dry?

Spider RedNight:

At least there's substance. Dreamworks generally makes good sequels whereas Pixar's just "...seriously? Cars 2? Finding Nemo 2? Monsters U?"

Or those sequels to Toy Story that ripped out your still-beating heart.

shintakie10:

Eh, depends on the sequels. Cars was as uninspired as they come and Monsters University wasn't anythin new, but Monsters University was at least competent. It was totally paint by numbers, but an enjoyable paint by numbers (again, unlike Cars 2). Jury is still out on Finding Dory. No clue where they're gonna take that one.

If I had to guess, I'm guessing it'll turn out like another Pirates of the Caribbean movie - I liked Dory just fine but as a supporting character and I'm cynical that she'd be be equally good as the leading role.

MCerberus:

Or those sequels to Toy Story that ripped out your still-beating heart.

Very true. I artfully dodged mentioning the Toy Story trilogy because I'll admit, it was very good. It had flaws but it was a good trilogy.

Aaaaaaand now they're making a fourth one.

Kingjackl:
Didn't even know there was another one. I mean, the first one was actually really quite good as far as these sorts of films go. But I guess the wells run dry?

It's not that the well runs dry - it's that they're not actually using it.

There's a whole wealth of stuff that can be mined from the Kung Fu Panda IP... but they keep focusing on Jack Black as Po, instead of the rest of the cast, keeping the Furious Five as static characters when they could have the whole thing become an awesome ensemble show. Yeah, Po is the Dragon Warrior - but the Furious Five were all competing to claim that title. Why don't we have any movies that focus on them developing as characters with the changes?

Shrek ran dry... But Puss in Boots was good.

... I wonder if, now that Po is truly complete, they can do a spinoff focusing on the 5?

Also - I found the Buzz/Zerg subplot in Toy Story 2 as a marr on that film.

FPLOON:
So... It's only slightly better than the animated series, which actually does delve into Shifu and the Furious Five's characters a lot more than you'd expect when compared to the third movie in the series? Meh... Still worth watching, I guess...

Other than that, does this mean Monkey gets even less lines than in the second movie?

Good news, Monkey gets more lines than the previous movies combined! Bad news, it's still not a lot. Actually, all members of the 5 have a lot of lines but that still doesn't mean they aren't thrown to the side later on.

Honestly, I really feel that Marter's being too harsh on the movie. It is more comedic than 2, but there is a lot of action and most of it is one-on-one. I also found the jokes were much better in this movie. I love 2 but many of the comedic bits fall flat. Here they are at worst tolerable.

I just watched it. I think Marter was pretty rough on it but I am a little annoyed that the Furious 5 were pretty much tossed aside. Having said that, it was close enough to the second one that i cannot choose between the 2 for my favorite.

I was wrong though as there was still a little more character development to happen on Po's part. Can't be a proper martial arts master without being a teacher.

But anything after this would blatantly milking the franchise I think. I just can't see how they are going to proceed further from here without beating the poor horse into tanned leather.

xaszatm:

FPLOON:
So... It's only slightly better than the animated series, which actually does delve into Shifu and the Furious Five's characters a lot more than you'd expect when compared to the third movie in the series? Meh... Still worth watching, I guess...

Other than that, does this mean Monkey gets even less lines than in the second movie?

Good news, Monkey gets more lines than the previous movies combined! Bad news, it's still not a lot. Actually, all members of the 5 have a lot of lines but that still doesn't mean they aren't thrown to the side later on.

Honestly, I really feel that Marter's being too harsh on the movie. It is more comedic than 2, but there is a lot of action and most of it is one-on-one. I also found the jokes were much better in this movie. I love 2 but many of the comedic bits fall flat. Here they are at worst tolerable.

Awesome! Though, that seems to be a thing with the Kung Fu Panda movies in general, which the later parts throwing all the characters, outside of Po and the villain, to the side because "that's what we came to see, am I right audience?" or something like that... Then again, the animated series kinda does the opposite at times... :P

Anyway, it all sounds better than the second movie and that's all I need to interpret on my end...

Although I'm glad to hear it's at least up to standard, as I freaking love the first two, I'm a little disappointed that Dreamworks have once again chosen to ignore the less explored aspects of the franchise. They took a simple idea and turn't it into a really emotional series, why then focus on Po when you have all of the Furious Five just sitting there begging to be talked about!

It's like how Shrek 3 sucked because it was him, once again, being angry about his current situation, throwing a petty strop and looking for a way to fix it. Unlike the other two films however, in which Shrek was thrown into an uncomfortable situation or simply misread it, he's just mad because that's his default state and instead of handling it he finds some poor kid to drop all his problems onto.

I am surprised you didn't enjoy Madagascar 3 though, I thought it was the best one just for sheer creativity. I mean the whole 'liar revealed' drama was just as dumb and petty as it's ever been but all the new characters where interesting and, if you can believe it, THE FOCUS OF THE STORY!

THAT'S what's needed Dreamworks, we know Po, Monkey on the other hand is voiced by an actual King-fu master and has all of 10 poxy lines throughout the whole series!

09philj:
To be fair to it, most animated film series which get a third film are starting to get really weak by that point.

*cough cough* shrek *cough*

But yeah, this review seems to be fair as to what I've expected. I've not seen the film yet, will probably at some point because the second film built up a lot of good will from me. But I will have my expectations lowered for it.

 

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