REVIEW: ‘Kung Fu Panda’ shows no signs of wear in its third box office battle

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Dreamworks

Po must fight a whole new rival in "Kung Fu Panda 3."

Hanna Ceballos, Entertainment writer

Po, the fun-loving, kung-fu fighting Panda is back in “Kung Fu Panda 3,” and this time he has a new enemy to battle: supernatural warrior Kai, whose strength only grows with each fight.

Though Kai is a serious threat, Po (voiced by Jack Black) is as fun as ever, especially when he’s face-to-face with his villainous rival (voiced by J.K. Simmons). As Kai tries to finish his threats, Po just keeps interrupting, throwing out phrases like “chit chat” to Kai’s ever-growing anger and confusion. Even with a nickname like the “Dragon Warrior,” you can count on the main character to never take things too seriously.

The animation in “Kung Fu Panda 3” is first-rate, especially as the audience is introduced to Po’s extended family; when Po goes to visit his home village, the sight of the baby pandas is nothing short of adorable.

The music also helps establish the tone of the film, particularly as it helps increase the tension in the fight scenes, of which there are many. By the end, Kai has defeated all the legendary warriors, but Po refuses to give up, summoning the power of Chi inside of him. It’s to the credit of directors Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni that the film manages to make its message of self-empowerment as meaningful as ever in its third installment.

3 1/2 out of 4 stars

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