Film Review: A wicked ‘Descendants 2’ does not disappoint

On Friday evening, Descendants 2 finally premiered and impressively took over five different networks. Disney Channel, Disney XD, Freeform, ABC and Lifetime all showed the highly-anticipated sequel during opening night and trust us when we say the concurrent release doesn’t even do the movie justice. After impatiently waiting for its arrival and having the fantasy-action flick’s soundtrack on repeat since it dropped earlier that morning, the expectations were unquestionably towering when it came to the 2015 hit’s follow-up film.

Descendants 2 focuses on Mal (Dove Cameron), Evie (Sofia Carson), Carlos (Cameron Boyce) and Jay (Booboo Stewart) as they strive to blend with the Auradon crowd. Although, not all of the “Villain Kids” can quite handle the pressure of fitting in, specifically Mal, who feels in over her head when it comes to the stressfulness of being royal. Her relationship with King Ben (Mitchell Hope) becomes rocky once he discovers she has been relying solely on spells to get through the cotillion weight on her shoulders. Mal chooses to return to her rotten roots; however, is in for a surprise when finding out Ursula’s daughter, Uma (China Anne McClain) has stolen the show in her hometown and the role as self-proclaimed queen of Isle of the Lost.

McClain was the perfect addition to the franchise. The character of Uma may be an evident antagonist, but you can’t help but absolutely adore her and those flawless chops. When throwing new characters in the mix, it’s unclear whether the additions will ultimately go on to be a hit or miss. But, kudos to a killer storyline that allowed for such an awesome villain and squad. Director and choreographer, Emmy Award-winner Kenny Ortega promised fans more action, adventure, music and dancing and we can confirm whole-heartedly that this sequel is action-packed to the core. Then again, would you ever doubt the mastermind who was also responsible for the iconic High School Musical franchise?

The musical numbers were out of this world. It was incredible to see Carson shine bright as a lead vocalist, concretely during “Chillin’ Like A Villain” where she was accompanied by Boyce, Stewart and Hope. Speaking of Hope, the scene also captured an entirely new side of him, which was fun for viewers to see and a breath of fresh air. “Space Between” showcased another stellar vocal performance by Carson, who was joined by Cameron, her on-screen and off-screen BFF. If you have yet to hear the track, we guarantee it will tug at your heartstrings. Another standout moment was also when Harry Hook (Thomas Doherty) killed his rap solo in “What’s My Name?” The actor’s underlying, authentic Scottish accent was everything and his character possesses just the right amount of crazy one will crave.

With Descendants 2 also came more from Mulan’s daughter, Lonnie (Dianne Doan), who took her father’s family name instead of her mother’s to prove she is not just the daughter of Fa Mulan, but also the daughter of Li Shang. Lonnie fights to make sure that does not go unnoticed. By including this vital storyline, the movie radiantly kicked gender stereotypes to the curb. Though it’s obviously a must-see, we can’t help but wish there were more cameos from Dopey’s son, Doug, who never fails to put a smile on our faces. A Jaylos duet would have been a nice asset to the empowering DC original as well. Fortunately, both characters have much more depth and development now than the previous flick. Not to be bias when it comes to the other VKs either, but we will not deny the soft spot we have for Carlos and his talking pooch.

This review is written in attempt not to reveal any spoilers to readers who haven’t caught the film just yet, but we must recognize the fact Uma’s final words were “You didn’t think this was the end of the story, did you?” Which means, Descendants 3 is upon us! Here’s to hoping we get to witness the series’ threequel in the box office, as it is destined to follow HSM‘s footsteps and success.

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Written by Cayla Masters

Music, pop culture and cheesesteak lover. Follow me on Twitter, @caylamasters