2.4 out of 5 stars (Almost Decent)
Frozen II is one of the most disappointing movies of the year. Its story is unfocused, its songs are forgettable and over-produced, and the ever-shifting tone prevents you from fully engaging with it. However, the animation is once again beautiful, some individual scenes hint at what could have been, and the intended message (while not well-delivered) is a good one for kids to learn. Frozen II is an uneven, overly busy sequel with a poorly-explained mythology, kids-only humor, and terrible music numbers that makes you wish they would have Let This Series Go.
Without giving too much away, our story sees Elsa (Voiced by Idina Menzel), Anna (Voiced by Kristen Bell), Kristoff (Voiced by Jonathan Groff) and Olaf (Voiced by an irritating Josh Gad) venture out of Arendelle into a mysterious forest to confront an unknown force. Along the way, they’ll encounter unexpected obstacles and make life-changing discoveries that may alter them forever. Oh yeah, and sing tonally jarring songs every 5-10 minutes.
Frozen II has some intriguing ideas, but never fleshes out any of them. The script is extremely rushed and some characters contribute so little to the story that you wonder why they’re even here. Most of the humor is squarely kid-aimed, and the musical numbers misguidedly attempt a Rock of Ages Broadway style that never meshes with the dark fantasy tone. Idina Menzel gives a standout performance as Elsa and her songs are the best, but the other actors aren’t given much to do.
While Frozen II has some interesting ideas and outstanding animation, its conflicted tone, overly busy story, and gaudy musical numbers prevent it from reaching the highs it clearly aspires to. 2019 has been a great year for mainstream films directed by and/or written by women, a movement that Frozen arguably started, so it’s sadly ironic to watch its direct sequel drop the ball like this. Rent it if you have kids, skip it otherwise.
Rated PG for Action/Peril And Some Thematic Elements