Movie review: Kung fu panda

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Nicholas Goodman ’22

The movie Kung Fu Panda (2008) is the perfect mix of action and comedy. Directors Mark Osborne and John Stevenson deliver scenes full of vivid Chinese landscapes that set the stage for the battles that ensue within them. While being aimed at a younger audience, it can still be enjoyed by adults and teenagers alike as it leaves the viewer feeling refreshed. The humor that the movie showcases is one of the main factors that makes this movie palatable for all different age groups as the jokes are innocent enough for children and yet the comedic timing is too good not to enjoy for anyone else watching.

What truly makes this movie enjoyable is the main character, a lovable panda named Po, voiced by Jack Black. Not only does Jack Black do a great job voicing this character but Po is truly relatable as many of the viewers will be able to identify with his everyday struggles. Of course, this leaves the question of how kung fu is involved if the main character can barely do his everyday tasks. That is the main trope of the movie, leaving Po with a highly unlikely journey to becoming the dragon warrior after managing to get picked by Master Oogway. This introduces us to Po’s new training partners, the furious five who are all starstruck as to how he was chosen to begin with. The group is made up of five members, with Tigress, Viper, Mantis, Crane, and Monkey each with their own very distinct personalities. These five clash with Po continuously as he struggles to win them over as new friends while attempting to learn kung fu. This leads us to the main villain of the story, Tai Lung, who is seeking revenge after being rejected from the position of dragon warrior. Po along with the furious five work together to take down Tai Lung while going through personal struggles and making sacrifices for each other every step of the way.

One of the true highlights of this film is the music selection. From the opening scene the viewer is hit with great music that gets them in the mood for the upcoming events whether it be action based or getting into trouble making dumplings. The composer Hans Zimmer has made music for countless movies, yet this may be one of his best scores to date. You truly feel the emotion with each new scene and decision that Po is forced to make on his journey trying to become a kung fu master. He fails countless times, but with each failure the music is able to help us feel as if not all hope is lost.

Whether this movie lacks an incredibly in-depth plot or not is not the point. The relatable main character struggling with everyday tasks paired with comedic timing that not a single soul could deny enjoying makes watching an experience that leaves an impression for years to come. With music that truly moves those who listen and a cast that comes together in the end to rally in victory with the dragon warrior it is an excellent movie that everyone should watch at least once at some point in their life no matter the age.