Release Date 6/6/08
The Story: Fat misfit is chosen by destiny to beat the big bad. AKA: Shrek in China or every Jack Black movie.
YAWN! I’m sure kids will love this movie. It has an underdog hero who is likable, self-deprecating, and uses his belly as an attack move.
I’m just tired of Jack Black’s shtick. I’m sick of the fat kid surpasses all despite suffering through all the jokes and pokes at his butt. I get the message, and I agree with it, but there has to be another way to tell this story. Oh, this one is in China using a Kung-fu fighting panda instead of Mexican wrestling. I had the same issue with Made of Honor; just because you changed your 3 required things in order to make it different enough from My Best Friend’s Wedding to not get sued, doesn’t make it a new movie.
This is a movie aimed at kids, with no winks to mom and dad. Shrek at least gave adults a few jokes to laugh at. Ratatouille was made for adults, but brought down a notch to let kids enjoy it. Toy Story brought out the nostalgia for our childhood and it was really about growing up.
I laughed maybe 3 times during KFP. I heard a few more laughs from the kids around me, but not many. There was applause, but no cheering; no one saying, ‘When can we see this again?’ It’s a mediocre movie. There was a lot of movement in the theater, which means the kids were restless and not fully engrossed.
There were two sequences that were well done. The major panda training was fun to watch. The rope bridge fight was also put together really well. Everything else, ho-hum.
What it’s Worth: If you have kids, I’m sorry: you’re going, there’s no choice. But definitely go during the day/during the week when it’s cheaper. I’m giving this a $2.50: it’s mediocre, you won’t feel it’s a complete waste of time, but you won’t leave wondering if the DVD will be out in time for December holidays (don’t worry, it will, and someone will buy it for your kid).