Thursday, 3 July 2008

Everybody was Kung Fu Panda fighting...

I was going to attempt a review but I don't really know if what I'm about to write will count as such.

Last Sunday, I saw a preview of Kung Fu Panda at the Birmingham iMax. Because I don't want to write a review as such, please be graciously directed towards The Times' review which covers the basics.

What I loved about this movie, apart from the humour, was the way it looked. Part of it may have been the benefit of viewing it on an iMax screen, but the CGI was so good that I kept looking at the screen marvelling that I could see the details of the weave in the characters' clothes.

On top of that, the fight sequences were brilliant. At times they were slightly fantastical, but again, the animation was so good, you felt the pain of the hard falls, the rush of air in the jumps. I kept asking myself "how are they doing that?" and having to remind myself that none of what I was seeing was actually real. The animation is so realistic that occasionally, I found myself jolted out of my sense of disbelief and thinking "Surely he should be dead after falling down all those stairs?"

My only complaint is that the end of the film is left deliberately ambiguous, I'm guessing in order not to upset the kids in the audience with the possibility of violent death, but you aren't told what happens. Which is annoying, when this film deals well with other serous issues like exclusion, overcoming the disapproval or even hatred of those around you and self-image. I especially liked the fact that even with all the kung fu training, the panda didn't change shape or look toned up, he was just a panda.

It's worth mentioning that there was one point when, in an audience of young kids and their parents, there was a particular joke that caused myself and the other early 20s-year-olds I was with to explode with laughter which NO ONE ELSE got. We're all still at a loss as to why.

But when this is on general release, I urge and implore you to go. You won't regret it.

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