Movie Review – Kung Fu Panda 4


Kung Fu Panda 4 exhibits weariness in some areas, but is nonetheless an enjoyable watch.

Kung Fu Panda 4 Review: 6 thumbs-up and 3 thumbs-down
Snappy Movie Review | Kung Fu Panda 4

Kung Fu Panda 4 Synopsis

Po despairs after Master Shifu orders him to appoint a dragon warrior successor. Soon after, the Jade Palace is invaded by a foxy thief named Zhen. After Po subdues her, Zhen informs Po that Tai Lung has returned, no thanks to the magic of a shape-shifting sorceress named The Chameleon. Against the wishes of Master Shifu, Po decides to have one final butt-kicking adventure to defeat the evil sorceress, before handing over the dragon warrior baton.

Snappy Review

Were you expecting a Kung Fu Panda sequel some eight years after the third movie?

I certainly wasn’t. While some would argue that billion-dollar pop franchises never truly die and that there has been news about production since 2022, it still raises eyebrows, doesn’t it? Didn’t the story end with the third movie? How many more fat panda jokes do the world need?

What’s more to tell about Po, who’s already undefeatable at the end of the third movie?

Well, silly panda jokes are at a minimum in this sequel, thank goodness. Po is also not the bewildered and clumsy hero that he was in previous episodes. For that matter, the story isn’t even the usual Po meets great villain but eventually triumphs tale, though it seems that way.

Older, wiser, and completely one with his phenomenal skills, Kung Fu Panda 4 is the epilogue that couldn’t fit into the third movie. The final chapter that completes the entire story. Much like how Homecoming was the real full-stop for the How To Train Your Dragon franchise, this episode completes Po’s spiritual quest and declares him, unequivocally, a true warrior.

Some viewers might find this calmer version of Po unattractive. Truth be told, many moments in this latest adventure stretch thin too. The humour gets repetitive and never really hits the spot. For all her sinister powers, Viola Davis’ Chameleon fails to leave any imprint.

But as a loving finale for Po’s tale, as the bridge leading to perhaps … a full franchise reboot, I think this brief return to Valley of Peace, and beyond, does the job. Story aside, the luscious art style is gorgeous. The action, spirited.

Jack Black’s voiceover is … how to put it? He IS Po, isn’t he?

My summary: A good watch for a sequel that (perhaps) almost didn’t happen. A great launchpad for a full franchise revival too. I would love to see more of Awkwafina’s Zhen, with Po taking on Master Shifu’s role.

Watch the trailer here.

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