“Kung Fu Panda 3” is a trilogy about the same film told with different villains. Fans might bring up the adoption angle as the differential, but that aspect has always been there. It gets a bit of lip service in the second film that is quickly revisited with Bryan Cranston’s character in this entry. That being said, what’s there to tell this film apart from a really long cartoon episode. Nothing really changes, but an addition to the cast.
The old Kung-Fu masters, the one shot villains and the martial arts comedy remains. But, it’s hitting the same notes over and over and over again. If you’re a young kid, then you enjoy the kid equivalent of a Greatest Hits album on a loop. If you’re older, you keep wondering how they moved the last third of “Three Amigos” to a Chinese Mountain Panda Sanctuary. You don’t wonder too long, as you have better things to do today.
It’s weird seeing what was once a very prominent franchise for DreamWorks being turned into the definition of a January release. Forgettable, but will probably have a solid opening weekend. It’s just that no kid or adult is going to ever claim that this was the favorite DreamWorks Animation film. Hell, I could see some claiming that this was a TV episode. It’s just that very mediocre. See it if you don’t care for the Pro Bowl, wait for home video if your kids are monsters in public.
Release Date: 1/29/16