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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Movies with Tarek: ‘Kung Fu Panda 4’

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The adventures of Poe are continued in a creative adventure in Kung Fu Panda 4.

With Jack Black still starring as the voice of Poe, his dialogue and humor are featured in this entertaining, family-friendly film. Kung Fu Panda 4 had a variety of scenes which caused me to laugh due to their positivity. This installment does not have as much combat as the originals did. This time around, the story is primarily in journey and adventure mode. Kung Fu Panda 4 dives in with full-on and almost continuous giggles.

The plot is a continuation from the third installment. Poe is experiencing success and opens a restaurant which leads to additional fame. The animation in this fictional world then diversifies. Poe has a new goal; he is training to become the spiritual leader of his Valley of Peace. This goal that is not as easy as it seems.

Due to his departure as a Dragon Warrior, someone must take his place. Zhen (played by Awkwafina) is on his side and has hopes of taking Poe’s place. Poe has come a long way since the three previous films. His sensei is still Master Shifu (played by Dustin Hoffman) and his adopted father is still Mr. Ping (played by James Hong). Poe’s world is still one of a Warrior. However, a treacherous task awaits because a new enemy lies ahead for Poe. This enemy is the Chameleon (played by Viola Davis).  Her abilities include the power to assemble people from the past. Poe’s extensive training and many years of dedication are put to the test in Kung Fu Panda 4.

It’s all about the pieces of the puzzle in Kung Fu Panda 4. The elements Poe faces are detrimental, yet joyfully engrossing. There is a pattern of humor that swims through the many corners where obstacles lurk for Poe and Zhen. They even have moments when they distrust each other because they question each other’s skillsets and tactics. The film’s writing is fully in tune with the formula which works for animated movies to keep families enthralled.

The fighting scenes have effective dialogue and humor which connects. The journey has obstacles that are interesting and invigorating. The continuity is blurry and disconnected at times, but it still manages to send positive vibes throughout the film which results in nonstop fun. The message of the story in this movie is about connection and it is brought to life through the creativity of the martial arts.

Unfortunately, I did not love Kung Fu Panda 4. I do, however, have appreciation for the continuity of the franchise and this installment’s faithfulness to the franchise. Poe continues to be the primary focus of the story and grows into being the leader going forward. The voice of Black is stellar as always. Two-and-a-half out four stars for Kung Fu Panda 4.

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Tarek Fayoumi
Tarek Fayoumihttp://movieswithtarek.com
Tarek Fayoumi is the creator and lead critic of movieswithtarek.com. He also contributes to Medium.com, is an approved critic of Bananameter, and a member of the Chicago Indie Critics (CIC) and Independent Film Critics of America.

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