Kung Fu. This time, with a rabbit.
Sun Lijun‘s LEGEND OF KUNG FU RABBIT is what you’d expect of a film with a similarities to the more familiar animated Kung Fu film Kung Fu Panda (2008) and its subsequent releases to try and capitalize on a successful franchise. However, instead of a quality animated martial arts action-comedy, what we see here is a paraphrased tale with horrid voice acting on the part Jon Heder as Fu, the Kung Fu rabbit. Understanding Heder’s attempt to “distance” himself from his more familiar Napoleon Dynamite character. The result: a barely audible and mundane character voice appearance. similar title to a mainstream, successful franchise–lacking in quality. The animation is satisfactory for a lower budget studio, however the downfall of this animated feature lies within the character dialogue, silly special effects, and the fact Napoleon Dynamite was cast as the protagonist. Listening to Jon Heder do a modified impression of his famed character’s voice for ninety minutes is not a satisfying experience, nor one that can be recommended for the viewer to sit through. Kung Fu Rabbit is a “Kung Fu” ripoff in every sense of the word.
Fu the Rabbit (Heder) is sent on a quest at his master Sifu’s deathbed (Tom Arnold) to locate his kung fu prodigy daughter Penny (Rebecca Black) and her sidekick Biggie (Claire Geare) to defeat Sifu’s panda rival, Slash (Michael Clarke Duncan) and save their martial arts school.
It is clear as day the film was inspired by the blockbuster “Panda” hit right down to Michael Clarke Duncan being cast in both films. Did you know that Rebecca Black, infamously known for her annoying and viral video “Friday” voices in this animated film? The realization just hit me while typing out this line. However, to be fair, her performance is pretty decent. Heder “rabbit” serves his role as a sort of poor version of Jack Black‘s panda, but without the funny. The Napoleon Dynamite schtick does not work here under any circumstance, and the only thing worse than his voice is the action scenes and the dialogue between the characters. Scenes where chi energy is used frankly look cheesy and the humor is forced. Usually terrible films and rip-offs should at least get a few chuckles out of the audience for being so bad it’s good, but even in this–the rabbit fails.
Move along, there’s nothing to see here.
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