Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

IMPRESSIVE LOOK, BUT JOKES DESERVE CHOP ; KUNG FU PANDA 3 HHHHH STARRING: Featuring the Voices of Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, JK Simmons, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Kate Hudson, James Hong, Randall Duk Kim. DIRECTORS: Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni CERTIFICATE: PG (95Mins)

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

IMPRESSIVE LOOK, BUT JOKES DESERVE CHOP ; KUNG FU PANDA 3 HHHHH STARRING: Featuring the Voices of Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, JK Simmons, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Kate Hudson, James Hong, Randall Duk Kim. DIRECTORS: Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni CERTIFICATE: PG (95Mins)

Article excerpt

ARDENT fans of unlikely kung fu-fighting warrior Po will happily grin and panda bear this derivative yet breathlessly energetic third instalment of the computer-animated adventure series.

Visually, Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni's picture is a black belt: bright colours saturate the screen, the 3D format is employed adroitly in gymnastic fight sequences and character detail has improved noticeably since Kung Fu Panda 2. However, screenwriters Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger don't flying kick and punch the plot into touch with similar urgency or invention.

Mothballed jokes about a panda's vast appetite or the creature's inability to scale flights of stairs are aired again and spiky banter between Jack Black's self-doubting hero and Dustin Hoffman's despairing red panda mentor also feel like hand-me-downs.

"If you only do what you can do, you will never do more than you can do now," cryptically sermonises the sensei.

Black's whirlwind vocal performance, which enlivened the first two chapters, is more of a stiff breeze here, but still whips up big laughs.

His gleefully frenetic verbal riffs are epitomised by one snappy exchange about the chief villain's propensity to engage in pointless "chitty chat chat" before a fight.

After 500 years of incarceration in the Spirit Realm, megalomaniacal yak Kai (voiced by JK Simmons) steals the chi of every kung fu master, including his one-time friend, Oogway (Randall Duk Kim).

Only the Dragon Warrior - overweight dumpling-obsessed panda Po (Black) - can bring Kai's reign of terror to an end. …

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