If you've seen my review for the first movie, then you'll know that I loved it. With this movie I . . . liked it.
Okay let me explain, I did love this movie, I seriously did and still do, but when I first saw it I couldn't shake a feeling that I wanted it to be better. I don't know how and I'm rather annoyed with myself for it, but there it is. Perhaps because I was surprised at how much depth the first movie had, my expectations for this movie grew beyond reachable standards.
Okay, now for the real review. This is a great sequel, practically perfect in every way. Instead of rehashing the first movie the sequel does what it should, continue the story. The Furious Five now respect Po as an equal and Master Shifu has accepted his role as Master Oogway's successor. The villain, Lord Shen is interesting in that he's not using some forbidden mystic art to defeat everyone, he is using technology to try and make Kung Fu obsolete, namely through use of the cannon.
The basic plot runs that Shen, who was once the heir to a prosperous city before being banished, returns and claims the city for himself, but not before making an example of one of the great Kung Fu masters who reside therein. After receiving word of this, the Furious Five and Po set out to stop Shen.
Now if the movie were just this plot, it might've been in danger of falling flat. However, there is another plot running parallel. Mr Ping, Po's father, confesses that he found Po as an orphan(and seriously, who didn't think in the first film that he was gonna make this confession, they even phrased it the exact same way), after Po sees Lord Shen's insignia and has visions of his parents. This in turn leads Po to try and figure out the secrets of his past, which only Lord Shen seems to know.
The emotional core of the movie is carried in Po's search for truth. It continues the character growth from the last film in a very good way. The moral lesson is once again handled with skill, it is not your past that makes you who you are, it's how you choose to react to it, something both Shen and Po echo.
This film is, at the very least, just as good as the original, if not better. I have no idea why I couldn't enjoy it more on the first viewing. On later viewings I have really come to appreciate it. Take my word for it, it's awesome, you won't be disappointed.