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Kung Fu Panda 4

Format(s) Available
Opening Date
07 Mar 2024
PG Some Frightening Scenes
94 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Mike Mitchell, Stephanie Stine
Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen, Awkwafina, Jack Black, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan
Follow Po on his wide-eyed adventures in ancient China, whose love of kung fu is matched only by an insatiable appetite.
By InCinemas  07 Mar 2024
A fine balance of what DreamWorks does best.
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As Po would say, “Skadoosh!” The long-awaited fourth installment in the Kung Fu Panda franchise–Kung Fu Panda 4–jointly directed by Mike Mitchell (DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls, Shrek Forever) and Stephanie Ma Stine (She-Ra and the Princess of Power)  and produced by Rebecca Huntley (DreamWorks' The Bad Guys) is finally here!
Reprising their voice-roles in Kung Fu Panda 4 are Golden Globe nominee Jack Black as our favourite dumpling-loving, kung fu-fighting panda, Po; Academy Award® winner Dustin Hoffman as Kung Fu master, Shifu; James Hong (Everything Everywhere All at Once) as Po’s adoptive father, Mr. Ping; Academy Award® nominee Bryan Cranston as Po’s birth father, Li; and Emmy Award nominee Ian McShane as Tai Lung, Shifu’s former student and arch-nemesis. Some new voices are Oscar® winner Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once), along with Oscar® winner Viola Davis and Golden Globe winner Awkwafina who are joining the cast as new characters.
After three films, we have seen Po defeat power hungry villains, and grow from an unlikely kung fu warrior to a masterful teacher as well as finding inner peace and his birth family. So what else can we expect on his next journey?
The film opens with Po showing off his slick kung fu moves and saving 3 little kids leading to cheers and adoration from the people of the Valley of Peace. This pleasant tableau is soon interrupted when Shi Fu tells Po that as the Spiritual Leader of the Valley of Peace, he must find and train a new Dragon Warrior. Po is understandably aghast. What does he know about spiritual leadership or finding and training a successor? After all, he was chosen by Grand Master Oogway in a very unconventional manner.
To make matters worse, there is also news of a powerful but wicked sorceress, Chameleon (voiced by Viola Davis), a tiny lizard with shape-shifting abilities. She needs the Staff of Wisdom given to Po by Grand Master Oogwa, to resurrect the master villains defeated by Po and sent to the spirit realm. 
As the Furious Five - Tigress, Monkey, Crane, Mantis, and Viper are away on their own individual missions, can Po defeat this evil sorceress and find the Dragon Warrior successorall on his own? Soon enough, help comes least expected and in the form of the crafty, quick-witted thief Zhen, who is a corsac fox (voiced by Awkwafina). In what Po claims to be his last adventure as the Dragon Warror, he waves goodbye to Master Shifu and sets out with Zhen intheir quest to protect the Valley of Peace. Along the way, this funny odd-couple duo will learn how to work together and trust each other. Eventually, Po will discover that heroes, like friendship, can indeed be found in the most unexpected places and with the people you never normally consider.
For fans of the franchise, the old characters continue to deliver the same familiar antics and expected performance, with Tai Lung being a pleasant blast from the past. In terms of the new characters, we learn that Chamelon’s desire to pillage and rule is driven from past heart-wrenching experiences and she becomes a character which some audience will probably sympathise with. Zhen the thieving fox, who essentially becomes Po’s new sidekick, is a welcome addition and is a great foil to Po who is striving to be the Grand Master he wants to be. 
Kung Fu Panda 4 is a fine balance of what DreamWorks does best. It has the action, humor and a feel-good inspirational message calculated to make the audience laugh while simultaneously tugging at their heartstrings, bringing them through an emotional journey with Po with a very satisfying conclusion. Perhaps in today’s world where good news is only just not so bad news, we may have forgotten to laugh aloud. Go catch Kung Fu Panda 4 with your kids, family and friends and reaffirm the message of hope, friendship and family while letting out rip-roaring laughter. 
I can’t wait for the next adventure with Po and friends fighting against enemies (whether old or new). Hope DreamWorks don’t make us wait too long!
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