OK, just saw the movie last night, and I thought I’d make a thread about it.
The story is kinda hard to judge, because this movie is a comedy AND a serious action story. Which means, sometimes we are supposed to take things seriously -such as the threat of the evil Martial Artist- but we also have to accept the amazing coincidences that drive the story (yes, I know the theme that “there are no accidents” runs through the movie, but then you have to accept that all of Po’s embarrassing pratfalls also happened for a reason (?)) Yeah, I know most of you don’t care, and if this were a FULL comedy I wouldn’t either- but it IS full of action and even some seriously moving moments as well. Plus, I tend to nitpick about such things anyway.
Still, I have to admit that, while I feel the humor and the action felt like they belong on two different movies, each part was very well done: the humor WAS funny and the action WAS thrilling.
Other than that, I feel that the only flaw of the story was the ending, which felt a little too deus-ex-machina (if you saw it you know what I mean.) The villain’s escape from prison also was kind of hard to swallow. But overall, it’s a pretty effective story.
(Minor quip that’s not the movie’s fault: I went to see it with my best friend’s kids -teens now, actually- and they wanted to see it in Spanish. So, I missed Jack Black’s voice acting and that of the rest of the characters’. The Spanish Voice Actors weren’t bad, but they just don’t have the ‘personality’ of the originals. Ah well, I’ll catch it on DVD and listen to the English track then. (And slow down all those blindingly fast fight scenes, of course!)
Animation-wise, it was excellent- there are 2d, hand-animated sequences at the start and end, but they’re very well done. The 3d part itself was wonderfully rendered. The generic characters, such as the villagers, tended to look alike, but then, they WERE just generic characters. The actual design of the characters didn’t impress me much -it was hard to tell Tigress’ gender just from her looks, for example- but that’s a very minor nitpick.
Although the movie was long enough, I couldn’t help but feel that the Furious Five were not developed to their full potential; fortunately, the characters who really mattered (Po and the Master) were. I think some scenes in the movie (the lengthy sequences in the prison, for example) could have been shortened to give the Five more room, but there’s always the sequel (and since this was a hit, you KNOW there will be a sequel- this isn’t Pixar, it’s Dreamworks!)
All in all, a GREAT moviegoing experience. I recommend it. (And stick all the way through the credits- there’s a final scene after them. Nothing special, but it makes you realize what a seemingly inconsequential gesture early in the movie symbolized. Made me smile. )