In the third film of the series, Po (voice of Jack Black), the adorably plump panda, must become a Kung Fu master. Master Shifu (voice of Dustin Hoffman) announces his last day of teaching and leaves it in Po’s hands…which doesn’t go so well.
Later, after hearing that a newcomer is claiming his dumpling-eating record at his dad’s noodle shop, Po rushes in to meet a stranger who looks just like him. The panda says his name is Li (voice of Bryan Cranston) and is looking for his son. Po says he is looking for his biological dad and after a brief moment, they realize they found each other.
Meanwhile, a wildebeest named Kai (voice of J. K. Simmons), returns to the real world after drifting in the Spirit Realm for 500 years. He wants to take the inner power, known as chi, from every Kung Fu warrior and master, including Po, to become the greatest fighter in all of China.
Po must learn to unlock his chi powers in order to defeat Kai. Li claims that he knows how to summon chi (since pandas are said to be masters at it) and says he’ll teach Po if he follows him to his secret village, where the rest of the pandas roam. A jealous Mr. Ping (voice of James Hong) follows.
The Furious Five (voices of Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu and David Cross) are back along with new faces in the panda village.
“Panda 3” had its weak spots. There was not as much action as in the previous films, and the theme of finding one’s identity echoes the previous films; it’s repetitive. And would it have been too much to ask for Po to have a love interest this time?
“Panda 3” is good, but it could’ve been better. It’s a film that you can wait to watch on DVD or FX. However, if you are taking the whole family out to the movies, “Kung Fu Panda 3” is the best choice. There are many funny scenes throughout the film that will have children and adults busting guts.
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