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Kung Fu Panda 3 3D


Stars: Voices: Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, J.K. Simmons, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Kate Hudson, James Hong, Randall Duk Kim, Jackie Chan

Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Alessandro Carloni

For my money, one of the key merits of 3D movies is that they should still entertain and generally deliver the entertaining goods even when shown ‘flat’.

Remember 2010’s Clash of the Titans, which came across as tediously flat and non-dimensional even when it was screened in 3D?

That said, this continuing saga of the adventures of podgy panda Po would still make excellent family entertainment even if the 3D was missing, since the batty blend of action, comedy and magnificent animated spectacle keeps the franchise bubbling.

Screenwriters Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger conjure up a suitably zany story to keep the franchise alive and kicking, the latter being something of Po’s combat specialty when he finds himself faced with having to save the day (and just about everything else) when supernatural villain Kai and his zombie army set out to cull every kung fu master in China and become a supreme conqueror.

The gaudy opening sequence, in particular, is topped with Po’s ingenious revamp of the usually super-saccharine DreamWorks logo.

Spice the familiar mixture with the return of Po’s long-lost father, lashings of animated comedy, silly slapstick including a gross dumpling-eating contest, and/or combat and Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni’s speedy direction and you have a fun film that successfully pandas to the likes of its target audience.

Once again vocal casting carries the show into a higher dimension. Jack Black (most certainly better heard than seen) is Po-fection, Bryan Cranston speaks well for his returning father Li and Dustin Hoffman, J K Simmons, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Angelina Jolie and Kate Hudson add attractive contributions.

Since, we’re informed, two-thirds of the film was produced in the USA and a third in China, the latter fraction might well account for my feeling I could be ready for another Panda picture an hour or two after seeing this one.

No masterpiece but that rare kind of sequel, one that still satisfies.

Alan Frank

USA/China 2016. UK Distributor: Fox. Technicolor.
94 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 11 Mar 2016