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Kung Fu Panda

A colorful wuxia comedy
By BRETT MICHEL  |  June 4, 2008
2.5 2.5 Stars
Kung Fu Panda

“Legend tells of a legendary warrior whose tales are the stuff of legend.” Just the sort of grandiloquent dialogue you’d expect to hear coming from the mouth of Jack Black, for better and worse. In this colorful wuxia comedy from freshmen directors Mark Osborne and John Stevenson, he’s even more animated than usual, which turns out to be a good (or at least tolerable) thing. You see, you only hear Black as he portrays Po, a clumsy, computer-animated panda bear fulfilling the prophecy that he’ll become the (yes, legendary) Dragon Warrior. The thin script (light on length and surprise, heavy on tike-pleasing jokes and action) gives the ancillary anthropomorphized animals so little to say, you’ll hardly recognize Angelina Jolie’s Tigress or even Jackie Chan’s Monkey. (Money well spent, DreamWorks.) Not so Dustin Hoffman’s Yoda-like Master Shifu and Ian McShane’s villainous Tai Lung, whose inspired vocals match the (good but not quite Pixar) visuals blow for blow. 91 minutes | Boston Common + Fenway + Fresh Pond + Circle/Chestnut Hill + suburbs

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 See all articles by: BRETT MICHEL