Kung Fu Panda 4 proves an unsurprising let down

Kung Fu Panda 4’s main villain shows off her powers. Image courtesy of NBC.com.
Kung Fu Panda 4’s main villain shows off her powers. Image courtesy of NBC.com.
Kung Fu Panda 4 Official Trailer

A tetralogy, a four-movie series, expands on the world created in the original film.
Unless the series is an adaptation of a book series, most stories only last three movies. But there’s no harm in that, is there? Many beautiful stories can be told, and more than three great movies are needed to tie them all together. In fact, some films don’t need a third or even second film because many do not perform as well as the original film.
At some point, though, there has to be a cap as to when the beauty of film-making starts and when it slowly turns into big-money executives turning out their most popular films to make a more significant profit.
That is not to say that fourth movies are entirely damaging to the franchise. In fact, the Shrek franchise greatly benefited from a fourth movie (Shrek: Forever After) because the third movie did so poorly. That movie remains an iconic film.
Now, with Kung Fu Panda 4, is this another scenario where producers want to make more money off a popular movie franchise? Is there any substance to this film to honor the original work of art, Kung Fu Panda, a story about perseverance, believing in yourself and that being different is not bad?
Well, no, not really.
Understandably, the pacing of the movie isn’t great. It is a kid’s movie, after all. Therefore, it needs to be more fast-paced to keep children’s attention. However, because of that, the final battle is so short. For a unique and terrifying villain played by the ever-talented Viola Davis, her proper terrifying form is only shown for a small section of the final battle. There wasn’t enough fighting, and it didn’t even come close to being able to live up to the final battle in the first or second movies.
One of the most significant charms of the movie was that it was funny and had laugh-out-loud crude humor. And while this story had that, it seemed as if a millennial AI bot threw up on the story and made any sort of humor fall short. There was only one line in the movie that made anybody in the audience laugh.
But this was not a totally terrible and unwatchable move. It did have its moments that reminded the audience of the original series. The action is the most astonishing aspect of the film. Though the final battle was short, other minor battles were entertaining and well done. And those were only enhanced by the magic of the muscle score, which helped elevate and add suspense to the story. The story was cohesive, and it wasn’t hard to watch the movie.
A kid could sit through the movie and most likely enjoy it, but it’s probably best to stick to the original three. For these reasons, this movie earns a 3/5.
Also, please ban Awkwafina from voice acting.

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