6/6/08

Kung Fu Panda: Prepare for Awesomeness


Why It's a Geek Movie
Kung Fu. The ancient Chinese martial art masters both mind and body, and while most geeks only have a handle on some of the mind part, it's no secret that a true geek gawks at a Kung Fu master with the greatest of respect, admiration and awe. And he dreams every night that he can do the same things.

And, of course, geeks have a special brand of humor that, while not exclusive to them, is appreciated the most by them. It's the perfect blend of stupidity and intelligence. Where dull as a hammer and sharp as a needle meet, you will find the awkward silences, the thudded facepalms and the absurd exaggerations that make geeks guffaw. Jack Black and the team that put this film together seem to understand this brand of humor better than a lot of people.

What's it About?
Po, the panda, works at a noodle shop with his father (a goose?) and dreams of becoming the greatest Kung Fu master of all time. Of course, he never believes this dream will come true until Oogway accidentally chooses him as the Dragon Master and the only one capable of defeating Tai Lung, a dangerous Kung Fu master who once sought to be the Dragon Master himself. The story revolves around having to form this flabby, pathetic excuse for a fighter into a warrior by believing in his own capabilities and being trained in the manner for which he is most suited: through food.

How to Appreciate It
Why are adults turned off by cartoons?? I don't get it! It's like just because it's animated it's for kids! Anime totally blows that theory out of the water...

To appreciate this movie you have to get over the fact that it's about a village full of talking animals. Kung Fu itself uses different animals to represent different styles of fighting. In the same way, animals can be representative of various character types, just as in Kung Fu Panda. Yes, it's animated, but it also has a rich storyline and hilarious comedy. Animation is not exclusive to children - that's a just a fact you're going to have to face.

Is it Worth It?
Most definitely. I'm not even going to ad an "if" to that - if you go to see it, you will not regret it... crap, that was an "if."

The animation is beautiful, the voice acting is real, the storyline is rich and as vibrant as the jaw-dropping scenery. What I was most surprised by is the cast. Of course Jack Black plays the part of Po, but this film also boasts such names as Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu and Jackie Chan! Who knew?!

Of course, I was watching it from a writer's perspective, meaning I was paying the closest attention to the story. It did not disappoint! As always, I will not ruin the story for you, but suffice it to say that depth was not a problem in this 3D-modeled movie!

Kung Fu Panda has my approval! If you see anything this summer, see Iron Man... and then Kung Fu Panda.