Film Review: Frozen 2
Frozen 2, the sequel to the 2013 smash hit, is a hell of a good time, and possibly my movie of the year. While some might view the film as yet another unnecessary Disney sequel in the Disney money making machine (and they would probably be right), Frozen 2 is nonetheless a wildly enjoyable movie in its own right. With better music, to boot.
The basic plot of the film is part Captain Planet, part Fifth Element. Things are going wrong in the Kingdom of Arendelle. Spirits are running amuck and it’s up to Anna and Elsa to take care of the problems that are ailing the nation. So they go up north to the legendary Enchanted Forest, along with Anna’s boyfriend Kristoff, who’s trying (unsuccessfully) to propose to Anna, child friendly snowman Olaf, and Kristoff’s best friend (and occasional reindeer) Sven. And they all have aa grand adventure, meet new friends, and learn the secrets of friendship and sisterhood along the way. Standard Disney fare, really.
Where the movie really shines is everything else other than the plot. The performances by Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel are as good as ever as Anna and queen Elsa respectively. Jonathan Groff as Kristoff also has some good lines (“My love is not fragile”), and his continued cock ups at proposing to Anna provide some of the film’s best running gags. Kids will still love Josh Gad’s Olaf (notme- I loathe the f**ker, though one of his scenes almost got me).
The visuals are stunning too, particularly in a year where “Toy Story 4”, “the Lion King”, “Klaus”, “the Missing Link”, and “Weathering with you” all came out. Scenes in particular that stand out include the water effects- an instance where Elsa manipulates water droplets comes to mind. Or when Elsa’s battling a water horse in the ocean. Or when Elsa’s having a big singing moment ala “Let It Go.” You see a pattern here. While the filmmakers weren’t necessarily shooting for realism, there are certain moments that just look unbelievably real, albeit slightly cartoony enough. Even the models are vastly more animated and lushly detailed than their 2013 renditions. The result is a visual and technical achievement that looks as good, if not better than anything that has come before.
It wouldn’t matter though, if it didn’t sound as good as it looked. Thankfully, the songwriting couple of Robert and Kristen-Anderson Lopez has pulled though again. Though all the attention “Into the Unknown”, the real successor to “Let It Go” for my money is “Show yourself,” a real showstopper of a tune that is couple with some of the best visuals that the movie (and Idina Menzel) has to offer. One also can’t forget Kristoff’s 80’s inspired ballad “Lost in the Woods,” complete with Queen-esque choreography (with reindeer no less), and “All is Found,” a haunting lullaby featuring Evan Rachel Woods as the royal sisters’ mother, Queen Iduna. Anna herself has a gut-wrenchingly somber tune with “The Next Right Thing.” Oh, and there’s “Some Things never Change,” which is a near carbon copy of “For the First Time in Forever.” Then of course we have the obligatory Olaf song. The less said about that the better.
What is more surprising however, is some of the themes that Frozen 2 brings to the table, considering the kid friendly image of the film. Sisterhood, of course. Environmentalism, imperialism, colonialism, and feminism are recurrent throughout the film. The plight of the Northuldra, an indigenous people in the film based on the real life Sami, feature prominently in the movie, as does the attempts to take over their land. It’s heavy stuff, for traditional Disney fare, but more welcome in an age where these topics loom larger than ever.
Frozen 2 is then, a film that definitely shouldn’t be missed out on if you’re a fan of the animated Disney Canon. It’s a worthy successor to the first, and a better soundtrack to boot. Sure, it doesn’t have a tune with the catchiness and ease of singing like a “Let It Go” (E flats for you! And you!), but it’s a titan of a film in its own right. Plus it has 3 Disney Queens. What’s not to love?
CAN’T STOP WON’T STOP JPHIP
WRITTEN BY silogore