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The student news site of Amador Valley High School


The student news site of Amador Valley High School


The student news site of Amador Valley High School


Movie Review: Kung Fu Panda 4 dominated the box office on opening weekend

Alyssa Vu
“Kung Fu Panda 4” dominated the box office on opening weekend as fans of the series flocked to watch the latest installment of this childhood favorite.

Kung Fu Panda 4, the latest installment in Dreamworks’ iconic franchise, released in theaters on March 8. The film revives the wildly entertaining world of comedy, martial arts, and spirituality to new and old fans alike.

Despite the series’ success and overall fantastic reputation, both fans and critics are split on their opinion of the movie. While immensely enjoyable, the general consensus is that the fourth movie is the weakest of the series. Kung Fu Panda 4 still performed well in the box office, coming in at $55 million upon opening weekend

Regardless of its reception, the film will continue to attract an audience because of the series’ popularity. The film elaborates on Po’s, the iconic kung fu-fighting panda, life after becoming the fully-realized Dragon Warrior.

About the Story

Master Shifu insists that the next step for Po is becoming the spiritual leader of the Valley of Peace. Now faced with the responsibility of choosing the next Dragon Warrior, Po struggles to give up his title. Instead, he decides to take on one last adventure as the Dragon Warrior to delay the inevitable.

He and his new accomplice, Zhen, journey to Juniper City to investigate rumors of Tai Lung’s return. Tai Lung is the villain of the original movie and one of Po’s nemesis. Intent on stopping his comeback, Po instead uncovers a much more sinister plot at the hands of a new and dangerous villain. 

Amidst master schemes, betrayal, and martial arts, Po must stop this villain and save both the physical and spiritual world.

Worth Watching?

Kung Fu Panda 4‘s action sequences, soundtrack, and animation are arguably the best in the series. The film is also extremely funny as Jack Black’s performance as Po delivers the series’ signature comedic relief.

However, there was a noticeable lack of iconic elements that exhausted the charm of the movie. Beloved characters such as the Furious Five and Master Shifu were largely missing or had little relevance. The movie also failed to make its central message of “accepting change” impactful, compared to previous movies.

Furthermore, the villain was very one-dimensional and lacked characterization that fully explained her motives. Interestingly enough, previous villains are also reintroduced into the film. However, they behave extremely out of character, creating some disconnect between this movie and the rest of the franchise.

Despite all this, the movie was still immensely enjoyable, especially for younger audiences. While not the best installment, it remains a good film and an overall worthwhile watch.

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