Franchise’s latest release is light-hearted fun but little more

The Kung Fu Panda franchise has returned with its fourth instalment.

While I enjoy the franchise, it is not my favourite.

In saying that, after watching Kung Fu Panda 4 I came out of the theatre with mixed feelings as I neither loved nor loathed it.

Before watching the film, I had read complaints about the Furious Five band of kung fu warriors being boxed away, the chameleon not reaching her full potential, Po not developing much and that the plot could have been better paced.

As always, however, I wanted to form my own opinion.

I enjoyed it for the most part, thanks to the light-hearted fun and of course, the kung fu action. And you can’t get much better than having Jack Black voice the main character.

Po is now essentially a village celebrity, but in a showing-off way rather than humbly, as the wise master Shifu wanted.

This was very much in character, and I enjoyed this.

I also thought it was a good idea to make the film’s message revolve around Po giving up his role as the dragon warrior, as he has fulfilled so much already.

The villain of the movie, the chameleon, is pretty good. The concept of her shape shifting is interesting to watch and it’s very well-animated but she is definitely the least threatening, memorable or interesting villain of the franchise.

That was surprising considering she can turn into any powerful master she wants.

Overall, the movie was borderline good, nothing more and nothing less.

Though the plot felt somewhat formulaic at times, fans of the series will appreciate the nods to previous films and the introduction of new challenges for Po and his friends to overcome.

Definitely check it out if you are a fan of the Kung Fu Panda franchise but do not expect to have your socks blown off — it is the weakest of the series.