Saturday, June 14, 2008
Kung Fu Panda
Spring wanted to take us all to see Kung Fu Panda and asked if I wanted to go along. Normally, I'm not one to see films and I usually have to be dragged kicking and screaming, but the one commercial I saw for the film, involving Po the Panda fighting his master with chop sticks over some food, intrigued me enough to relent.
And I must say, it was a very enjoyable film. Sure, predictable enough, but the action sequences were incredible—the prison escape scene (which isn't a spoiler, because without it, there isn't a film), the aforementioned chop stick fight, the bridge fight (can nothing stop the bad guy?) up through the final fight (“skadoosh”) are all very well choreographed.
It was also quite funny, and yet without a ton of pop cultural references that have plagued Disney and Pixar movies for years. That alone made it quite refreshing.
The artwork during the opening sequence and closing credits was also incredible; I almost wish the entire film was done in that style (as we adults were sitting at the end of the film, watching the gorgeous art work, as The Older was trying to get us to leave, because “the ushers were cleaning up the theater”—heh).
Well worth watching (especially through the credits—there's a small bit at the very end).
One thing about the film bugs me, and it's not about the film per se but the genre in general. Not the kung fu genre but the whole “complete newbie who gains complete fighting mastery through a training montage” genre (which again, isn't spoiling anything since that's the point of the film). Except for Po, the Panda, all the other major characters have been training all their life in kung fu, yet it's Po, who never fought in his life, that needs to save the day, after a very short training regimen (it's not made clear in the film exactly how long he trains for, but it comes across as a few days, maybe a week or two at best).
I have to wonder what type of message is being sent with this film—train all your life for one single purpose, and lose out to an earnest, yet bumbling, amateur. No wonder just about every other character in the film is upset (both good and bad).