Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)

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Continuing his “legendary adventures of awesomeness”, Po must face two hugely epic, but different threats: one supernatural and the other a little closer to home. (IMDb)
As colourful and creatively animated as always (see the unique multi-panel training montage, trippy climactic trip to the spirit world) but with heightened humour (“Even Master Chicken’s going in, and he’s a chicken!”) and emotion (the two-dad arc is a touching one: “Dads!”) this time around, often taking place within the same wonderful moment (see the two-dad fighting combo; chi circle: “You taught us to be who we were meant to be. A dad” “A friend” Granny panda: “A lethal fighting machine”).
7.5/10 (Really Good)

 

Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

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Po and his friends fight to stop a peacock villain from conquering China with a deadly new weapon, but first the Dragon Warrior must come to terms with his past. (IMDb)
Like the first, the fat jokes fail (do we really need a “boing” sound every time something hits his tummy?) but the wild action sequences are heaps of fun (see Po’s cart ride with the wolf through town) and the animation delights (see the lovely 2D bits). Elsewhere, the villain’s good, the “who am I?” pathos is unremarkable, and the non-fat-joke humour lands (see the snarky old Soothsayer); ultimately, the colourful, lively anthropomorphic animal world carries this through any inconsistencies.
7/10 (Good)

 

Men in Black II (2002)

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Agent J needs help so he is sent to find Agent K and restore his memory. (IMDb)
Just didn’t click this time around. The combination of Jay’s naivety and bravado in the first made for lots of laughs; here, the former is gone and a cocky vet just isn’t as funny as a brash rookie. Kay’s also gone for half the flick, so that doesn’t help. It’s not bad, per se, and there are some good moments (see the locker colony, and the cheeky reveal at the end) but annoying villains, an empty “romance” (I can’t even call it that seriously) and a lame plot linger more than anything else.
6/10 (Mediocre)

 

Megamind (2010)

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The supervillain Megamind finally defeats his nemesis, the superhero Metro Man. But without a hero, he loses all purpose and must find new meaning to his life. (IMDb)
The script’s dialogue-based humour is inconsistent at best (the opening voiceover intro is kinda lame; Megamind and Metro Man’s cliche convo was funny: “Revenge is best served cold!” “But it can be easily reheated in the microwave of evil!”) but it’s helped by a great voice cast (Cross as earnest Minion tops the list), and the overarching premise offers both some quirky satire of the typical good guy vs. villain dynamic as well as, of course, a refreshingly nuanced look at the villain itself.
6.5/10 (Alright)

 

Kung Fu Panda (2008)

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The Dragon Warrior has to clash against the savage Tai Lung as China’s fate hangs in the balance: However, the Dragon Warrior mantle is supposedly mistaken to be bestowed upon an obese panda who is a tyro in martial arts. (IMDb)
Unless you’re a fan of fat jokes, the humour doesn’t do much to spice up what is very much a predictable, seen-before “unlikely hero” story, just in a different context. Fortunately, said context is beautifully animated and said story is broken up by numerous large sequences of stunningly rendered and superbly creative kung-fu action. Boosted by Hoffman’s strong voice work, Shifu’s touching arc (see his farewell to Oogway by the tree) also adds a compelling secondary character element.
7/10 (Good)

 

Year One (2009)

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After being banished from their tribe, two hunter-gatherers encounter Biblical characters and eventually wind up in the city of Sodom. (IMDb)
There are some laughs to be had from Black’s signature crazy schtick (I confess, it was his shit-tasting that got the biggest guffaw out of me) and Cera’s awkward one (“She’s really making that banana last”), and the irreverent trip through biblical history is occasionally funny, but it’s mostly just another crude and immature comedy overloaded with sex jokes, with a dumb plot slapped on top (Zed’s transformation was completely undercooked; it’s better to not even try with these type of films).
5.5/10 (Poor)