(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Descendants 2)
Doug (vo): Let's finish up Disneycember with Descendants 2. Well, if you saw my first review, you know I'm not exactly a big fan of this, big surprise. But sometimes, it can be enjoyed in a "so bad, it's good" kind of way. This one is bad in a very different way...a...strange way. And that's saying a lot, seeing how this is already a strange movie series. Is it better? Worse? It's kind of hard to say. On the surface, the plot seems exactly what you think it would be.
Doug (vo): The Descendants are still living among the do-gooders, but they're completely reformed, which is weird, seeing how the opening song is bragging about how wicked they are and all the bad things they're doing, and then, immediately after, it's like that never happened. "Yeah, we're so bad, we're so mean, we're outlaws! Oh, time to act like the good students that we are!" What the hell was the point of that musical number? In fact, our lead character Mal is kind of getting tired of being so good. Her new upper crust status and now being in a relationship with Prince Ben gets her thinking maybe the old wicked days were better than they thought. And speaking of which, sea witch, that is, the daughter of Ursula, named Uma, is pissed off that her and her villain friends are still stuck on the evil island while all the other goody two-shoes get to live in harmony. So she has a plan to trick Mal into handing over the Fairy Godmother's magic wand to get them off forever. When the Descendants try to stop this, they kidnap Ben and hold him hostage unless they turn the wand over. It's a thrilling fight/dance/rap-off, resulting in a colorful climax where the Descendants save the day.
(Scenes focusing on the film's second half and climax are shown)
Doug (vo): Well, there it is, nothing special, but...wait a minute. There's still a half-hour left. But...that's a perfect place to stop. Why are you still going? You defeated the villain, saved the guy, went back home, what else is there to do? Well...yeah, this is where the movie gets a little stranger than usual. A good chunk of the movie is just sitting around and talking. Not necessarily bad stuff, talking about emotions, where you belong, all sorts of teen angst, but... (Stammers) the movie's over, isn't it? An hour-and-a-half, that's a decent runtime. You defeated the vill...why are we still going?! This buildup eventually results in another climax, one not nearly as good as the first one and kind of disjointed. Even the message is kind of all over the place. It's about not judging a book by its cover, but then this one person seems evil, but then they're not, then they are evil again, and...there's some really bad effects, and even then, they don't really utilize that, because they just kind of talk it out again, even though it's promising something big, and...even that's kind of a half-assed resolution, but...who cares? We have a dance scene at the end. That's all that seems to matter. What the hell did I just watch?
Doug (vo): This movie is all over the map, and I'd be lying if I said it was worth getting angry at, because it's Descendants 2. I didn't even get that much into the first one. The elements that work in it are the same elements that worked in the first one. The dance sequences are really good, the sets and costumes are colorful, and, again, you gotta give credit to a dumb idea actually taking time to analyze the characters, having them talk, having them actually discuss their problems. And they're good problems, like I said, figuring out your emotions, where you belong, all sorts of teen stuff. But it's not especially riveting, because these kids still have to be marketable, they still have to be pretty, they still have to be just blank enough for you to insert yourself into that role. "You're the good-looking dancer, you're the one going through troubles, you're the one that has the boy or girl that has the hots for you." And because of this, the actors are not really allowed to explore what they can do with the characters.
Final thought Edit
Doug (vo): So, yeah, on the one hand, there's not as many bad things as the first one. There's no villains sitting around in a room, acting like an old folks' home or anything like that. But at the same time, why even have it connected to the Disney Villains? It seems like there's no point. The Disney Villains are some of the great cinematic characters, and to not really make that much of a connection with them just has me asking, "Why did you do it to begin with?" So is it good? No. But again, like the other one, it's pretty harmless. I can see kids watching it and enjoying it, and there's nothing really bad in it for them. And there are surprisingly attempts at good ideas in there, like I said, trying to have character development, the good dancing and so forth. But the majority of it is pretty dull. If you weren't a fan of the first one, this one's definitely not going to sway you. It's not wave-your-fists-anger-inducing, but it doesn't leave an impact either, which some would say could be worse. If you liked the first one, you'll probably like this one fine. If not, then just leave bad enough alone.
(Footage of various Disney Channel movies is shown)
Doug (vo): And that's about it for this year's Disneycember. My thoughts? Well, I guess like any Disneycember, there were some good ones and there were some bad ones. The good ones weren't amazing or mind-blowing, but they were very enjoyable. And the bad ones... (Sighs) yeah, they were bad. Nevertheless, it is neat to see a series of movies that a different generation grew up with. It's kind of interesting to see what people younger than me made popular, and of what they made popular still holds up. I'm happy to say that some of them do. It's nice to know that when a series of movies is trying to be manipulative, it can be manipulative in the right way. It can teach good lessons, it can open up the imagination, it can teach kids about character and story. It just also happens to be selling toys and clothes and soundtracks and so forth. I had a lot of fun this Disneycember, and I hope you did, too. Hopefully, I'll see you next year, and until then, keep that Disney imagination soaring.
(The Disneycember logo is shown again)