Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Review: Frozen 2

Frozen 2 (Spoilers / Language warning)
Cert: U / 103 mins / Dir. Jennifer Lee & Chris Buck / Trailer

With much fanfare and much expectation comes the first, full-length, sequel to Disney's 2013 smash, Frozen. And it's fine. To be clear, compared with a lot of other animated content around at the moment, it's pretty great. But for a tentpole Disney production - it's fine. The animation is fantastic and the voice-performances are note-perfect, but the storyline is slight and more than a little fairytale-autopilot, while the songs just aren't as finely crafted this time round (although they're mercilessly over-produced all the same, and feature more key-changes than a drunk locksmith*1).

Jennifer Lee pens the screenplay and is assisted by co-director Chris Buck with the story. But they're also joined by three other writers for that story, and that shows. Mainstay characters from the first film are relegated to supporting-status, with other smaller roles drafted in as points of familiarity. It never 'doesn't work', but feels as if it's not really putting in the effort, like a Disney writers-room trying to hit all the same notes as last time without stopping to consider what made the song so special to begin with. Olaf - the comic-relief character - has the most touching moment of the whole movie.

If you were to stack up all the amazing Disney standalone and part-one movies even from the last decade, then make a separate pile of comparable follow-ups, how close to 'even' do you think they would be? And so it proves. Coasting on charm and visual gags, this latest seat-warmer is enjoyable enough in a disposable way, but it's definitely a bolted-on sequel rather than a narrative continuation. Disney are better than this and Frozen deserves more. Either stick to spin-off shorts or just give Olaf his own feature-length adventure, you cowards.

And is the repeated (and apparently demonstrated) insistence from certain characters that "water has memory" a message to impressionable children from a US-based global media giant pertaining to the wonders of homeopathy? You can fuck right off, Bob...*2

So, what sort of thing is it similar to?
Well, y'know, Frozen.

Is it worth paying cinema-prices to see?
If you have padawans tugging your sleeve, sure.

Is it worth hunting out on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming, though?
It is.

Is this the best work of the cast or director?

Will we disagree about this film in a pub?

Is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
There isn't but that default hawk-screech is there.

Yeah but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 1: The voices of LT-319, K-2SO, Kit Fisto and Cham Syndulla are in this.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

*1 And credit where it's due, Christoph's Peter Ceter-a-long number 'Lost In The Woods' with its accompanying power-ballad video is hilarious - one would hope intentionally so. But the bottom line is that it's not even as catchy as Cetera's songs. [ BACK ]

*2 Seriously, I tried to frame the homeopathy thing like a joke and it doesn't really read like a joke and the more I think about it I don't even care. That is the vibe I kept getting from the film. Repeatedly. [ BACK ]

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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