waynepygram.com: Descendants 2 DCOM Reviewed

waynepygram.com: Descendants 2 DCOM Reviewed

Ugh, why the hell do I wait sooooo long for these? I can't even remember the quote I wanted to use. Wow, no wonder I can't crawl out of a readership of, like, the five of you.

What is it? Disney Channel Original Movie sequel to Descendants from two years ago.
Where did it air? Well, the whole "Disney Channel Original Movie" thing should kind of clue you in to that.
Who stars in it? You know the usual drill, Dove, Cameron (hah, see what I did there? Oh, you probably did, yeah, I'll, uhh...go back to writing....), Booboo, Sofia, with China Ann McClain as...what's her name? What's her name? Yeah you get that too. 
Why are we reviewing this? Ugh, if I barely felt like ever reviewing this in the first place I don't really feel like answering this other than "it should be obvious by now, just read the title of the blog."

Sometimes I really do think I spite myself, with what I try to do here in the name of reader convenience, and then insisting on sticking to that formula for everything even when the reader plainly and obviously knows what we're doing, and then I just complain about how droll filling out all that above stuff is and call it a review.

But anyway, with a lot on our docket including a whole bunch of non-Disney Channel/Nick stuff - yeah I suddenly decided to review Orville, Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Enterprise on here - along with all the stuff we should be covering - Henry Danger: Live and Dangerous for one, Duck Tales especially, a bunch of other stuff - I decided we really need to knock this one out of the way first. It's been...over two months, wow, that has to be a record even for me.

What that does give me, however, is a lot of time to think about how to approach this review and I've decided to just be blunt about it: I thought it was basically largely a rehash of the first movie, which was just a big giant pile of meh and "stuff happening that the kiddies will eat up" to begin with. And as coldly cynical of an analysis as that is, well, here's another one: looks like they're right about the "the kiddies will eat it up" part.

So rather than concentrate on that, I'd rather concentrate on what I did like: China Ann McClain, full stop. She absolutely made this movie. I mean, you can just see with all her power why they designed the very premise of A.N.T. Farm around her - yeah, she really is crazy talented, as close to a real life Advanced Natural Talent as you'd probably get. It'd be really pointless and repetitive at this point to do so, but I absolutely can spend the rest of this review doing nothing but raving about how damn good China was in this, and at the end of the day it was worth watching just for her performances. Her acting and musical numbers were fun to watch and she was spot on with everything whether it be timing or just whatever you can name. If Hollywood really was about nothing but raw talent China Ann McClain should be a household name in a few years, if not already, and I sincerely hope that turns out to be the case. She really does deserve it. I've never seen an actor more deserving of it.

And that's not to say Dove was a major downgrade from the first movie either - no, make no mistake she's just as on-point if not moreso in this one. In fact the greatest strength of this movie and the Descendants franchise overall, as a creative work, is its cast - it's extremely strong, don't get me wrong, whether it's China, Dove, Cameron (yeah I can't resist that still), Booboo or Sofia. Every one of them, and all the other "lesser" players from Brianna or whoever, that guy who plays Harry, on down, absolutely elevate their material.

....so, yeah. I think the material kind of sucks. For all I just raved about pretty much everybody in it...well, except Guy who plays Ben, Guy who plays Ben's still Guy who plays Ben, and no that is not a compliment. The plot is droll and contrived, and I found my attention easily drawn away from the action. Speaking of which, the one actual fight scene was...pretty damn laughable. I mean, yeah. It sucked, there's no other way around it, and if Kenny choreographed that he should honestly feel a little embarrassed and maybe learn how to actually choreograph a sword fight scene. And I understand this is Disney Channel and you might not necessarily want to have kids stabbing other kids (and considering how I'm involved right now in "community outreach" with some girls who went to jail because they tried to shoot up some other girls, it's a topic I'm pretty sensitive to myself nowadays) but...if your censors keep your kid-on-kid sword fight scenes from being anything but awkward, maybe you should find some sort of workaround from having to have a kid-on-kid sword fight scene. Maybe more individual one-on-one fights instead of just having a bunch of boys and girls come after a bunch of other boys and girls and create...whatever the hell that was supposed to be that actually transpired on our screens. Whatever. 

And now, after that I've read my own paragraph there, I feel like stepping out and saying/emphasizing that I'm really not cool with the idea of kid-on-kid violence, especially girl-on-girl violence (defining "girl" here specifically as a female under what's typically considered the "adult" age of 18). I'm not in favor of gender inequity here, but rather violence has nothing to do with gender inequity anyway (or rather, more specifically, violence is exactly counter-productive and the exact opposite of gender equity anyway, so no, girl-on-girl or boy-on-girl violence isn't somehow advancing feminism and gender equity by whatever...severely twisted and flawed logic that's being used) and again, considering that I'm currently working with a bunch of girls (again, using the term specifically to define women under 18 here) who are in freakin' jail for girl-on-girl violence, yeah, I'm really not cool with the idea of kid-on-kid and especially girl-on-girl violence. But still, that whole swordfight scene was.... It was....

...it was something like, somewhere in between Henry Danger and Game Shakers-worthy. Maybe even Game Shakers and School of Rock-worthy.

And the final confrontation between Mal and Uma was pretty interesting...until it went super-anti-climatic on us. Cue everyone dancing to Set it Off (or whatever music they used this time) and the obligatory "what you think this is the end?" and yadda yadda.

DCOM Grade: A flat C. You have China Ann McClain to thank for this not being a C- or even into D territory.
DCOM MVP: I'm really tempted to give it to the redhead girl who was the head waitress at Uma's bar or even more seriously the little girl who played...what's her face, the daughter of...what's her face, one of Cinderella's stepsisters, the one who was played by Hayley Atwell (who is super-hot, just saying) in the Cinderella live-action movie or of course Dove but...c'mon, this has to go to China (Ann McClain, we're not sending anything physical to the People's Republic of China). Again, we might be looking at a D+ movie even if she wasn't in it.

Extra Thoughts:

 - I've got nothing right now, maybe Mike has something. I dunno. It's been so damn long.

 - Yeah, let's face it, I'll level with ya'll: I was holding this off because, well, I got a bunch of big nothing to really say about it. This whole movie was, again, kind of a whole big nothing. I had really more to say about "Harry Hook really isn't an LGBTQ+ character unless specifically stated or shown otherwise" than I did about the movie itself.

 - Oh, and in addition to the name change (or rather, just giving myself a name period) I also gave myself a custom profile pic which you should be able to see. In case it's hard to tell, it's a really crappy stylized "N & DC" (for Nick and Disney Channel, obvs) that I did in like literally 10 minutes in MS Paint.
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