Thursday, 10 July 2008

Kung Fu Panda Review

I'm usually one for the underdog. Tibet Vs China, Kidderminster Vs Chelsea, Rocky Vs Apollo Creed. Yet when it comes to Pixar Vs Dreamworks I'll always side with the kings of animation. And I think I've worked out why; Simplicity Vs Complexity. Toys come to life, Fish lost in Ocean, Robot develops personality, each Pixar film is as easy to grasp as an Adam Sandler film. Thats not to say Dreamworks animation is dealing only with plots Stephen Hawking can understand but they don't have that 'in a nutshell' quality.

If they did then Kung Fu Panda would be 'Panda learns Kung Fu' and who the fuck wants to see that. So instead its the story of a panda, Po, who dreams of being the best martial artist despite being a fat, clumsy useless blob (good casting in Jack Black then). Po accidently gets chosen as the Dragon warrior who will bring peace to China much to the chagrin of the 'Furious Five - tiger, mantis, snake, crane and monkey' and their Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman).

Theres something slightly disappointing in knowing that Dustin Hoffman is choosing to do the voice of an animated animal (is he a cat, a rat, a hamster? I'm still not clear after 92 minutes) over more 'worthy' fair. I'm not being a killjoy but this guy was Ratso Rizzo, Benjamin Braddock and Lenny Bruce surely theres a script out there for him to really get his teeth into. Its not like he's bringing anything to the role that any voiceover artist couldn't. (Yet another reason why Pixar are phenomenal, they never stunt cast).

Don't quite no why I devoted an entire paragraph to that but there we go. The film itself is above standard fare in that it raises a smile but rarely gets a laugh out loud. Its also amazingly violent which should please the kids of 'Broken Britain' (todays scaremongering is brough to you by The Sun newspaper). In fact its so full of smacks to the face children will prefer it to the witty nuances and niceness of Wall-E. But then children are stupid. Oh and the Pixar wankfest is in full swing because I have seen Wall-E. I'm not going to review it just yet but suffice to say its one of the best films in the whole wide world. Ever.

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