I know, I know, I’ve been reviewing too many movies lately. And I know, I know, recently I reviewed Teen Beach 2, a Disney Channel original movie, but that was for a special occasion. It and its predecessor were milestone reviews, and thus, weird things were acceptable. Add in High School Musical and you will see the only Disney Channel Original movies I have reviewed have been musicals.
So why Descendants? Is it just to confuse my readers who might it get confused with the amazing The Descendants? Nope. It is because I used to watch these movies all the time. Not to show my age, but the new monthly movie used to be something special. (WARNING! WARNING! NOSTALGIA APPROACHING!) I was able to see things like Zenon, The Luck of the Irish, Motorcrossed, Cadet Kelly and more. I am not including Halloweentown, because Halloweentown sucked.
And you know what, those films are probably terrible now. But maybe Descendants is just like them. The plot has potential for an adult to enjoy. Maybe it is better than them. Maybe they can make a decent film that involves no music.
Alternatively, someone should review every single one of these films, while drunk. I am sure your website would get way more visitors than my own.
Not a scene from the film, but damn it, too many important characters to ignore.
JUST KIDDING IT IS TOTALLY A MUSICAL TOO, I WAS WRONG.
Ahem. Ben (Mitchell Hope) is the son of the Beast (Dan Payne) and Belle (Keegan Connor Tracy, who is also in Once Upon A Time), and wants to make his first proclamation as almost king! You see, a long time ago, after his parents got married, they brought all the kingdoms together under one rule, which apparently is a bunch of Disney stuff. They then took all the bad people and left them on a magical island to live out their days all sad and shit.
Those bad people also had kids, so Ben wants to give a few of them a chance and bring them over to rich people awesome boarding school. He only wants the worst of them for now, for a trial run. And apparently the four worst on the island are…
Mel (Dove Cameron), daughter of Maleficent (Kristin Chenoweth), Evie (Sofia Carson), daughter of The Evil Queen (Kathy Najimy), Jay (Booboo Stewart), son of Jafar (Maz Jobrani), and Carlos (Cameron Boyce), son of Cruella de Vil (Wendy Raquel Robinson).
Great! Now their kids can carry on their parents wishes. Mel needs to steal a wand to free them from the island, Evie needs to find a prince to marry to take over his castle, Carlos needs to…I dunno, kill a puppy or something, and Jay needs to just steal stuff like a criminal street rat.
So it should be easy! They just need to also deal with, you guessed it, high school life. Girls, boys, class, sports, balls, homework, mutts. All of this wonderful stuff. And hey, a big plot line involves them using magic to make the hair of some of the girls at school prettier. Actually, that is a big plot line. Like, top 3.
Of course this asks the question, do you have to be like your parents, or can you sing yourself into a better position?
The rest of the cast is basically made up of people just to name drop. Like Mulan’s dauhgter, Lonnie (Dianne Doan), Aurora’s daughter, Audrey (Sarah Jeffery), Chad Charming (Jedidiah Goodacre), the Fairy Godmother (Melanie Paxson) and her daughter (Brenna D’Amico), and Doug! (Zachary Gibson), son of…Dopey. Sure. Whatever.
Yeah, no one likes Beast when he goes human. Booo. Hiss.
Somehow before this point, I have already reached 600 words in the review. Shame, because I have a bunch more to go!
I was definitely surprised to hear music in this film, kind of came out of nowhere. It was mostly okay. Some songs were bad. The Song “If Only” was decent, however it featured the worst lip singing from Mel and featured a lot of flashbacks from the movie during it. The movie isn’t that long and the song happened halfway through the film, so there wasn’t really much to flashback, or a need at all.
It also had too many central characters, not knowing what to do with them. Carlos was afraid of dogs at the start, and then liked them? Okay, boring. Jay just…stole things for a little bit then played sports and also was sent to the background. Jafar probably had two whole lines and waste wasted. Cruella de Vil was turned into a crazy lady.
Speaking of de Vil, how in the fuck is that the best they have to work with? Not only does 101 Dalmations not even remotely fit in timeline wise with the rest of them (And Aladdin is a huge stretch), it is a lady who wanted to kill some dogs for their fur. They say she is one of the top evil people there, and that is just bananas. I cannot even begin to let that be any amount of believable.
The villains all live together in one house too. And literally no one is married outside of Belle/Beast. Each of these kids only knows about their evil parent, the other member just completely gone.
Descendants is an average to good concept for fiction, it truly is. But it seems they half-assed the whole film. If they kept it to just Mel/Evie, it could probably be a stronger film (but the male demographic!!). Too much wasted potential. They are apparently going to turn it into animated series later this year, which is a great place for it. With a cartoon some of these characters can actual gain some depth and not just background pieces to Mel.
1 out of 4.