Do not be fool by the cute cartoon characters from the posters, Kung Fu Panda is actually one heck of a martial arts movie! Yes, the guys at Dreamworks managed to turn a cartoon into an authentic kung fu movie. One that pays tribute to past kung fu movies & spoofs them at the same time.
The movie itself is full of cliches & follows the old school storyline seen from countless past kung fu movies.
First of course, we need to have an unlikely hero - which happens to be a clumsy panda named Po in the movie. An obese noodle shop helper passionate about kung fu.
Then, there will be the old & wise master to guide our hero to ass kicking greatness. Master Shifu is the one with the unenviable task here. He may be small in size but big in power, much like an ancient Chinese version of Yoda.
There is also an even older & wiser master called Master Oogway. He is the philosophical one who speaks in Zen-like one liners, you know stuff like 'there are no accidents' & 'yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift that's why it is called present'.
And both lived in a temple high up the mountain with a long flight of stairs. All great kung fu masters lived in monasteries up in the clouds. It's compulsory!
In order to become a true kung fu master, our hero Po had to undergo all kinds of torturous training ala Jackie Chan.
Okay what other cliche can they fit into the movie next? Oh...of course you need to have the manual that suppose to contain the ultimate kung fu moves! The manual meant for the 'Special One' (No, not Mourinho!)
Also, you can't have a kung fu movie without a super bad villain for a final showdown with our hero. The villain is Tai Lung who happens to be a former student of Master Shifu himself. Sounds familiar doesn't it?
Finally, it's time for the final showdown between the forces of cute & evil. No guessing who wins here haha It's after all a kiddie movie & there are some moral values thrown in for good measure. But it's also one that manage to appeal to the kung fu geek in us too.
So, like all great kung fu movies such as Drunken Master, Fong Sai Yuk, Once Upon A Time In China etc, this one seriously need a sequel. I can hardly wait.....^~^