Po and The Furious Five return in Kung Fu Panda 3! Po might now be the undisputed Dragon Warrior but his mission of self-growth and protection for the citizens of the Valley of Peace. Taking advice from the person he trusts most, Master Shifu Po discovers that his real journey is just beginning as he must transition from warrior to teacher.
After finding his birth father, Li, Po finally feels he belongs to someone. Po's stepdad, Mr Ping on the other hand isn't so convinced that this new panda is a relative at all! The Panda's travel to a secret panda village where Po, for the first time, is surrounded by Bears - most clumsy - just like him.
When a supernatural beast named Kai comes to their region, he threatens to put the lives a of some of the animals Po loves most in danger. To survive the attack by Kai, Po must train his new family and teach them how to fight for themselves - after all, surely they all have some of the Dragon Warrior in them?
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Po the giant panda may be ever increasing his prowess at kung-fu, but he still has a lot to learn. Even so he faces yet another dangerous threat to China in the form of the evil spirit Kai, who is determined to take over the country by robbing various martial arts masters of their powers. Meanwhile, Po has a few personal problems to contend with. His long lose biological father has re-appeared out of the blue, looking for his soon having sensed that he is still alive somewhere. And so, Po returns to where he was born - though he has never felt less at home. He is being pressured into an arranged marriage with a needy panda named Mei Mei, but he's got to put his family issues on hold if he wants to save China yet again. Unfortunately, the only way he can do it is by training up his new panda neighbours in the art of kung fu - he's never had a more difficult task than this.
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The ingredients are all here, but this mash-up of Ghost with Men in Black is a painful misfire, neither funny nor engaging on any level. Even usually fine actors like Bridges and Bacon are left with nothing to do, while Reynolds strains to be the straight guy in a comedy that never raises a smile. And we can feel the filmmakers straining to crank up the wackiness at every turn.
Set in Boston, the story begins when young police detective Nick (Reynolds) refuses to join in a dirty deal proposed by his partner Bobby (Bacon), who then shoots him in cold blood. In the afterlife, Nick is recruited by a manager (Parker) into the Rest In Peace Department, protecting humanity from ghosts who have escaped judgement. His new partner is Wild West sheriff Roy (Bridges), who is reluctant to break the rules when Nick decides to investigate his own death to help protect his widow (Szostak) from Bobby's nefarious plan.
Yes, the plot is so in-grown that it never takes off, circling around a handful of characters even though it involves bringing about the end of humanity. Of course it does. These kinds of movies couldn't have stories that make any sense, and filmmakers can't resist making the ghosts goofy, rubbery cartoons rather than characters who are actually scary or interesting. The excessive use of digital effects makes the whole movie feel desperate as it strains for both laughs and teary emotion, but it gets neither.
Continue reading: R.I.P.D. Review
R.I.P.D stars Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges as deceased cops hunting out 'Deados'.
The trailer for R.I.P.D is finally here and it looks a riot. In case you haven't been following the production of this movie, it stars Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges as deceased cops who work for the Rest in Peace Department, hunting down some scary looking ghoulish souls called 'Deados' who've escaped judgement.
But, there's a twist. Ryan's character Nick Walker is looking for the man who murdered him in a botched police operation. The trailer opens with Nick working for the real life police - he enters a warehouse looking for a criminal, though is quickly gunned down and sent to the R.I.P.D and told of his new role. There he meets Wild West lawman Roy Pulsipher (Bridges), his new partner who appears to channel his Oscar nominated role as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. The souls begin to get out of control and gunfights and chaos ensue, with the partners trying to defend the world "one soul at a time."
Nick Walker was a promising SWAT officer before getting brutally killed in a police raid. But waking up dead isn't the only thing that alarms him as he is whisked away to a police station in the heavens. He may be dead, but to the undead souls of the R.I.P.D., he's much too good to lose and so he is enlisted into the afterlife police force of the 'Rest In Peace Department' because criminals aren't just a thing of life. He must now fight the evil souls of the underworld that have escaped judgement as they threaten to terrorise the living; helping him is the veteran Sheriff Roy Pulsifer, an expert in the field of keeping dead souls at bay. Through the chaos of the misbalance between life and death and good and evil, Nick attempts to find the man who shot him dead and bring justice to both the living and the dead.
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Ex-cop Luke (Statham) is working as a cage fighter when he runs afoul of the Russian mafia, because they lose millions stupidly betting against him.
Brutally hunted by the boss' son (Sikora), Luke is contemplating suicide when he spots little Mei (Chan) being chased by the Chinese mob. Suddenly kicking into gear, he rescues her and discovers that she's a numerical prodigy who has memorised an important sequence of numbers. But now the Russians, Chinese and a gang of rogue cops led by a New York police captain (Burke) are all after them.
Continue reading: Safe Review
Former elite agent Luke White lives in New York and is all too familiar with the city's seedy underbelly, which crawls with corrupt policemen, killers and gangsters. The policemen, along with the Russian mafia and the Triads, are all looking for New York's Most Wanted, who has memorised a very long safe combination that is of the utmost importance.
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What more can come for the Panda who has it all? Since gaining the respect of his heroes - Master Shifu and the furious five - and defeating the evil snow leopard Tai Lung, Po's life in the Valley of Peace is perfect but it isn't to last.
Blazing across the screen with eye-popping, sublime artwork, Kung Fu Panda sets itself apart from the modern domestic animation trend with its sheer beauty. From an opening dream sequence whose abstract style seems culled straight from a modern manga, the film enters instant classic status as some of the most gorgeous animation Hollywood has produced since the golden age of Disney. Eschewing the cold and severe art of Dreamworks' Shrek films, the makers of Kung Fu Panda fill the screen with painterly backdrops of mountain vistas and fluttering leaves that give Zhang Yimou a run for his money. It somehow makes it all the funnier to have the titular panda, Po (Black), come huffing and wheezing through the impeccable and non-specific ancient China landscapes like a less-active relative of Hurley on Lost.
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At first, Fury nails this ridiculous tone. The rise of ping-pong star Randy Daytona, a 10-year-old prodigy of the game, is adorned by numbskull television personalities and revered by the entire nation, including Ronald and Nancy Reagan. His defeat at the Olympics by German player Karl Wolfschtagg (Thomas Lennon, who also serves as producer and co-writer) is viewed not only as a personal loss, but a loss for America. His father (Robert Patrick) has his head lopped off due to the German victory, and Randy vanishes into obscurity.
Continue reading: Balls Of Fury Review