With the music hindered, it was all on the story to keep the movie going. Infamously, Frozen was majorly changed at the last minute since Elsa was supposed to be a villain; this is not brought up as a vote of confidence. The level at which Frozen 2 fails at telling a compelling narrative is massive. It starts by retconning aspects of the first film and continues to snowball (heh) from there. Anna goes from having goals in 2013 to being a passive character now. Events just happen to her, and she barely participates. Not a single character has anything resembling an arc; they're all static, unchanged from the beginning to the end. The movie tries to hide its shortcomings by heavy-handedly shoving paper-thin character motivations in your face. Exposition dumps group together with characters always telling you how they feel; show don't tell should be the most obvious rule to follow.
From a big-picture perspective, the film stumbles as it tries to set up mysteries and lessons early on. These would only work if everything wasn't so obvious and if the movie didn't keep referencing them every other scene. It also has one of the most bizarre third acts I've ever seen, lasting a max of 20 minutes. Right as a huge revelation is revealed, and characters are put in difficult situations, everything resolves in a snap. I can't elaborate as it would contain spoilers, but the rate at which all hope is lost turns to everything is alright flashes by.
Frozen 2 isn't inventive enough either. There are three separate references to "Do You Want to Build a Snowman"; THREE. It takes ideas, aspects, and structure from the first film so often that it felt like Deja Vu. Some might mischaracterize this as nostalgia, but movies have been struggling to spawn sequels for decades. Even the lightweight queerbaiting is back, only more prominent than before.
Two things did put a smile on my face, the first being the animation. There were so many little touches that added to the overall character, so many references where you blink, and you'll miss them. Some are character movements, and others are presentation nods, it's wild how many there are. The second thing is the texturing and rendering technology on display. Disney proves once again that no one is close to achieving the level of fidelity that they can reach. Some landscapes and backgrounds look photorealistic. It honestly is impressive stuff and blew my mind each time I saw it.
Frozen 2 is pretty bad. It was at its best during the first act since it played to the brand's strength. Olaf was able to make me laugh, and there was a budding curiosity on what adventure the cast was going to embark on. Once that all came crashing down, my head was propped up by my hand as I sighed my way through the rest of the runtime. There was clapping when the credits rolled so you might enjoy it, but I cannot recommend it.
The music during the credits are the songs sung by professionals and its great
The rest of it fell into a few different categories. There were large stretches of runtime that bored me out of my mind. Creatively bankrupt ideas or just uncompelling plot points littered this movie. If I wasn't being bored to death, I was cringing at how many references the movie tried to show off. I don't want to see Miranda Sings react to being disconnected from the internet, I don't want to see a cameo by Fortnite, or how to make money online by being an internet celebrity. And the most damaging thing about this movie came down to it simply not having a good story.
Some people will say that movies for children shouldn't be complex, that they need to be easy for kids to understand. Pixar is a pretty good example of how this sentiment is wrong, along with Disney Animations' previous movies like Zootopia. Having characters run around for an hour and a half doing nothing but showing off all the ways websites were turned into places, isn't a plot. There is barely a story in the movie to criticize. The end of it makes you wait for something important to happen, and even then, it was an homage to a different movie.
Ralph Breaks the Internet doesn't use its runtime to build its characters up. In place of that, it has its characters react to things in a very ‘internet’ way. Whether it's Ralph doing a hot pepper challenge, Vanellope watching a "Which Princess Would Be Your Best Friend" quiz, or dealing with hateful online comments. It seems like content that would literally be made on the internet, not in a Hollywood Production.
When the movie does get around to developing its characters, it does so both hastily and obviously. The movie never lets characters sit with their emotions; it never lets the audience brood with them. Instead, there always has to be an immediate response to everything that happens. Plus, the way the main problem manifests itself is such a movie cliche at this point and it wasn’t even done in an interesting way. Having a bunch of small things group together and form one big monster is something I do not want to see more of.
I was looking forward to enjoying Ralph Breaks the Internet because I liked the first movie so much. A better version of "The Emoji Movie" was what I was expecting, but in the end, I only got a marginally better movie. I guess if you have kids you could take them to see this movie since one in my theater never stopped talking. Overall, this movie was a pretty big let down and the worst movie Disney Animations has made since transitioning to 3D animation.
Being hip with the kids is cool, right?