The Dreamworks studio builds well on successful elements of the first movie of this franchise to make
Our panda hero seeks to solve the mystery from the first film surrounding his long-lost parents. In the process he comes into conflict with the evil peacock responsible for his fate. Many different animal friends and foes take part in the adventures that follow. They all participate in rollicking chases and fighting scenes played for fun that seem to leave no one with actual injuries.
I thought the frenzied antics and wry comments by the characters might be better suited for older kids. But the many younger children at my packed viewing were laughing loudly at the snappy dialogue and wild action.
Great special effects enhance all aspects of this production that will entertain young and old alike.
There's magic at
The City of Light has never looked more idyllic than in "Midnight in Paris."
Owen Wilson (in a charming, wide-eyed performance) is Gil, a writer in a mild creative crisis. He'd like nothing better than to hole up in some Parisian attic to work on his novel. Fiancée Inez (
Out for a stroll, Gil magically meets his heroes of 1920s Paris —
Similar in tone to his "Purple Rose of Cairo," Allen has created a little fairy tale full of nostalgic longings. The film's period look and cast — notably
"Midnight in Paris" is like a pretty postcard: You don't see the messiness of real life, which is the point Allen wisely gets across. Yet it's precisely that little getaway of the mind that keeps us coming to the movies.
JOHN DEPKO is a retired senior investigator for the Orange County public defender's office. He lives in Costa Mesa and works as a licensed private investigator.