Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Descendants 2 (2017)

Streaming Service: Disney+
Movie Name/Year: Descendants 2 (2017)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Family
Length: 111 minutes
Rating: TV-G
Production/Distribution: Disney Channel, Disney-ABC Domestic Television, Disney XD, American Broadcasting Company (ABC), Freeform, Lifetime, Disney Cinemagic, Disney+, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, Walt Disney Television
Director: Kenny Ortega
Writer: Sara Parriott, Josann McGibbon
Actors: Dove Cameron, Cameron Boyce, Sofia Carson, Booboo Stewart, Mitchell Hope, Brenna D’Amico, Melanie Paxson, Thomas Doherty, Bobby Moynihan, Dylan Playfair, Dianne Doan, Jedidiah Goodacre, Zachary Gibson, Anna Cathcart, Dan Payne, Keegan Connor Tracy, China Anne McClain, Whoopi Goldberg

Blurb from IMDb: Mal, Evie, Carlos and Jay try to adjust to life in Auradon, but Mal becomes overwhelmed with pressure and returns to her roots.

Selina’s Point of View:
I liked the first Descendants (2015) movie and I expected to like this sequel. I try to go into film as cold as possible – I don’t even watch the trailers ahead of time unless it’s for a top 20 – but it’s impossible in this case.

I watched the original Descendants for this blog, but you might have noticed that only Cat wrote about it. That was the night that a pipe burst under the foundation of my house and my first floor flooded. I felt pretty much the same as Cat did, though. It was cute. Though I would have scored it a little lower than her, and I did think it bordered on too cringey in some scenes.

That said, I have a much higher opinion of Descendants 2.

The first thing I noticed was that the songs were a much higher quality. There was some seriously good music in this film. I’m definitely going to have a few lyrics stuck in my head. I didn’t really experience the same thing with the first one. If you played the soundtrack to the first movie for me, I might not be able to place any of it… but the second one I might even sing along to. It’s almost like they put more effort into the second film’s music.

I also didn’t feel like there was nearly as much cringe in Descendants 2. In fact, everything about it seemed so much more like a Disney movie. You could still feel the ‘Disney Channel’ aspect to it, in the way that everything was stripped down to the G-ist of G ratings, but otherwise it just had a higher quality.

There was a message here that I really liked, and it’s one that I don’t think enough pop culture touches on. In a lot of films, books, and even songs, you see it said that changing yourself is bad. In Descendants, however, Mal changed for the better – so Disney couldn’t really go there. They’d already showed a healthy form of change, saying that people shouldn’t change at all would have contradicted that.

Instead, the movie shows that you can evolve without changing every single thing about yourself. That’s important. Evolving is VERY important. If I was the same person I’d been as a teenager… that would be awful. In other ways, I’ll always try to be as unapologetically myself as possible.

It’s important for kids to know that sometimes change is good – but that it doesn’t mean the stuff you love has to change as well. It’s a good “be the best version of yourself” lesson. I have to acknowledge that.

I liked Descendants 2. I think it was a better movie than the first one. I am looking forward to seeing the third one, though there will be a bitter-sweetness to it. I don’t see how they could possibly continue past that film without the talented Cameron Boyce (Mrs. Fletcher, Steps, Jessie). I don’t think he’s replaceable.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 71%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 71%
Metascore – 47/100
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 6.5/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating4/5

Movie Trailer:

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