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There is no charge for awesomeness...

...and attractiveness.


But there is! 110 pesos to be exact (prices based on SM Cinema deluxe seats). Still, it was well worth the price to catch Kung Fu Panda with my brother Jemoi last night, which now tops my favorite animated movie list, displacing The Incredibles. Sorry Jack-jack.

Kung Fu Panda tells the story of Po the Panda (Jack Black), a big, fat and clumsy panda who dreams of learning kung fu while tending shop at his father's (who happens to be a goose) noodle restaurant. The world as he know it changes when he is chosen by ancient master (tortoise) Oogway (Randall Duk Kim) to become the 'Dragon Master', the powerful hero destined to defend the village from Tai Lung (Ian McShane), the evil snow leopard determined to learn the secret to limitless power. Of course, he has to contend with varied degrees of discrimination and ridicule from the legendary Fearsome Five--Mantis (Seth Rogen), Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Viper (Lucy Liu), and Crane (Cross)--and their master, Shifu--who is a Red Panda, if you were wondering--voiced by Dustin Hoffman.


It's basically a story of an unassuming hero who learns that the key to achieving great power lies within himself. Don't go all pouty and tell me that I've spoiled the movie for you, because it's a premise we've seen countless times, the most recently in the Forbidden Kingdom, where protagonist Jason Tripitikas (who is as much a kung fu fan as Po) rises above all odds to save the world. Really, it's a theme that's probably older than the Karate Kid.

The true fun in watching Kung Fu Panda isn't so much in the story, it's in the telling. Laden with good plot devices--not too obvious, but not too subtle either--and really clever (and geeky, in the case of Jack Black--geek extraordinaire) and witty dialogue and punchlines, the movie is one of the best I've seen this year (and in the case of western animated movies, the best ever). The jokes have just the right amount of corniness and slapstick and everyone is guaranteed to burst out laughing more than once.

Besides not being able to notice Jackie Chan (since Monkey so few speaking lines), I have no complaints with the voice acting, and needless to say, the animation was really cool, the highlight for me being the quivering of Oogway's neck whenever he spoke and the groaning of the thousand souls (you'll know what I'm talking about when you see it). There's also something after the credits, so don't leave immediately.

Of course, if you're looking for a thought-provoking plot that makes you bleed out of your nose, this isn't what you're looking for. But although Kung Fu Panda is light, it isn't too light to the point of being stupid and inane; it's the perfect thing to sit down in front of after a week of busting your ass at the office.

Comments

Salve said…
buti ka nga 110 lang binayad. ako, 171 pesos! sa galleria. well, i'm to blame. hehehe. without thinking, basta ko lang sinabi 'sa cinema 1 po.' forgot its a THX theater. buti na lang enjoy ang movie!

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