"Kung Fu Panda 4", DreamWorks' Ursidae Back in Olympic Form

Since its first appearance in 2008, the pot-bellied black and white furry beast has never been so long overdue. Just think! Eight years since we last saw her. And now she returns, suddenly justifying and giving reason to this long absence. Because our famous Panda, incongruous master, given his overweight, of kung-fu, born and raised in the DreamWorks studios, reappears on our screens in a form that could, in these times, be described as Olympic. It has been a long time since the chubby Po had exerted so much energy in combat and moved his generously wrapped frame to this extent.

This is because, in this fourth opus, the ursine has a lot to do, the enemy to fight being, this time, a chameleone capable of taking at any time the form of the worst creatures encountered in the previous episodes. The dream alibi to put the action at the center of the film. Full-throttle chases, epic clashes, aerial kung-fu scenes… punctuate this fourth version, without however monopolizing the entire story. The screenwriters Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger made sure not to sacrifice anything. Nor these moments of pause, suspended in the beauty of the landscapes and settings (reboosted here by a new generation of animators). Nor this humor used in all sauces, this delicious and irresistible self-deprecation which, from the beginning, accompanies the characters, enhances the staging, spices up the dialogues.

Find a successor

However, the film suggests, at the beginning, something other than what it is heading towards. Having long achieved his goals – having succeeded in achieving, against all odds and a lot of effort, the rank of kung-fu master – Po is ordered by Master Shifu, the irritable fennec, to find a successor. The reason being that the panda must now aim higher, devoting himself to meditation in order to find inner peace, achieve wisdom and the status of a spiritual leader. Suffice to say that the promotion hardly suits the person concerned, more inclined to clowning, gluttony and excesses of all kinds.

This prologue does not do its job. Fortunately, it will be quickly contradicted by the will of the authors, concerned above all to put their hero back on the rails of success. Thus, the meeting with a vixen, a highway hustler from the underworld, who could well act as an heiress, then the arrival in the field of a polymorphous witch and formidable threat to the Valley of Peace, comes opportunely offer Po the opportunity to return to service.

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