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Kung Fu Panda 2: movie review

'Kung Fu Panda 2' delivers fast-paced 3-D adventure as Po wisecracks his way to inner peace.

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In this film publicity image released by Paramount Pictures, Po, voiced by Jack Black, is shown in a scene from "Kung Fu Panda 2."

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Kung Fu Panda 2” is somewhat better than its predecessor, though not quite good enough to warrant what threatens to be, according DreamWorks Animation, another three installments in the franchise.

Dream Warrior panda Po (voiced by Jack Black) is now older and marginally wiser, though no less wisecracking. Along with his Furious Five – Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu), and Crane (David Cross) – he is having a high old time protecting the Valley of Peace. Maybe they should team up with the Fast Five and combine franchises?

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A new nemesis intrudes: Lord Shen (Gary Oldman), who wants to take over China with an “unstoppable” new weapon. In the course of stopping the unstoppable, Po’s search for his real father yields some dewy-eyed dividends.

For a movie touting “inner peace,” this 3-D sequel sure goes in for its share of battle scenes, but for the most part they are excitingly conceived by director Jennifer Yuh Nelson and her writers, Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger.

“Kung Fu Panda 2” premièred at Cannes, where Dustin Hoffman, who once again voices a wise old guru, was quoted as saying, “There is no inner peace in Cannes.” Wise man indeed. Grade: B (Rated PG for sequences of martial arts action and mild violence.)