Tuesday 12 March 2024

REVIEW: Kung Fu Panda 4 (2024 Film) - Starring Jack Black, Awkwafina, Viola Davis and Dustin Hoffman

By Jon Donnis
Kung Fu Panda 4 brings back the beloved Po, voiced by the comedic genius Jack Black, in another uproarious adventure filled with martial arts mayhem and heartwarming moments. Directed by Mike Mitchell, this installment retains the essence of the franchise while introducing new challenges and characters to keep audiences entertained.

The plot centers on Po's unexpected role as the Spiritual Leader of the Valley of Peace, a position that he feels ill-prepared for. His journey to embrace this new responsibility is complicated by the emergence of the villainous sorceress Chameleon, brilliantly portrayed by Viola Davis. Chameleon's ability to shapeshift poses a grave threat as she seeks to seize Po's Staff of Wisdom and wreak havoc on the world.

One of the highlights of the film is the dynamic between Po and the quick-witted thief Zhen, voiced by the charismatic Awkwafina. Their unlikely partnership forms the backbone of the story, leading to moments of humour and personal growth for both characters.

The voice cast delivers stellar performances across the board, with veterans like Dustin Hoffman reprising his role as Master Shifu and newcomers like Viola Davis adding depth to the roster of characters. Bryan Cranston's portrayal of Po's biological father adds emotional resonance to the narrative, further enriching the familial themes explored throughout the film.

Visually, Kung Fu Panda 4 continues the tradition of stunning animation that the franchise is known for. The action sequences are expertly animated, showcasing the characters' martial arts prowess with fluidity and precision. From the serene landscapes of the Valley of Peace to the dark lairs of the villains, each scene is meticulously crafted to immerse viewers in the world of Kung Fu Panda.

While the film delivers on its promise of entertainment, it may fall short in comparison to its predecessors in terms of depth and originality. Some jokes and plot points feel familiar, echoing themes and gags from previous installments. However, these shortcomings are overshadowed by the film's charm and humour, making it a worthy addition to the franchise.

Kung Fu Panda 4 is a delightful continuation of Po's adventures, offering a blend of action, comedy, and heartwarming moments that will appeal to audiences of all ages. Despite its minor flaws, it remains a solid entry in the series, earning a commendable rating of 8.5 out of 10. Fans of the franchise can rest assured that their favorite panda is back and better than ever.

Out in cinemas now and coming soon to digital at
And you can watch the first 3 films at https://amzn.to/48SADqv