Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Review: Frozen 2

Release date: November 22, 2019
Running time: 103 minutes
Starring: Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Idina Menzel

It's Frozen 2.  If you have kids, you're going to watch it.  You don't need me to tell you anything about this movie because you already bought your tickets for opening weekend.  But in any event, Frozen 2 follows our band of sisters and friends from the first movie as they are forced to journey outside of Arendelle due to a new threat.  The group will learn about Arendelle's past, which they will need to understand to help save Arendelle's future.  

The original movie was a surprise hit that had a wonderful combination of heartfelt story, catchy songs, strong female lead characters, and the right amount of magic to capture audiences.  Frozen 2 tries to recapture this combination, and at times it is successful.  The movie starts off slowly, with an overdose of songs and some strangely off animation.  However, once the group gets past the first act, the movie really picks up.  The animation becomes more beautiful, with some really spectacular weather and elemental effects, and as always, pretty amazing snow and ice.  The songs also become more spaced out and meaningful.  

The story of Frozen 2 is decidedly darker and more grown up than the first film.  Similar to how Harry Potter became more mature as the series progressed, Frozen 2 seems to be trying to appeal to the audiences that loved the original but are now 6 years older.  However, don't worry, there is still plenty of silly humor and ridiculousness to appeal to the younger viewers.  However, a pleasant surprise was that--similar to what Pixar has mastered--many of the jokes of Frozen 2 have a double meaning to appeal to the adults in the theater.  There were plenty of times that the entire theater, adults included, laughed out loud.  And there is one song that has a fantastic, eighties inspired presentation that had the older folks enthralled.  

However, despite all this positive, Frozen 2 is not a perfect film.  The songs are entertaining, but don't have the same instant appeal as the first movie's soundtrack.  I'm sure they will grow on me (and I'm also quite sure I will be listening to the soundtrack over and over again for the next couple of years), but it seemed like they were less catchy and had more exposition to move along scenes.  Some had awkward phrasing or forced statements that didn't seem natural like the soundtrack of the original.  And the story, despite being pretty complicated with a bunch of new information that doesn't really fit with the previous movie, also wraps up extra quickly (likely to keep the movie at under two hours).  But, again, it's Frozen 2 and you know you're going to see it.  There is plenty to like and keep you entertained for the entire film, and it lets us revisit the beloved characters from this world.

Frozen 2 is a movie you know you're going to see; thankfully the beautiful animation, catchy songs, and laugh out loud moments (for kids and adults) will make you appreciate a trip back to Arendelle. 

Watch it

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