set never changed. There were no background replacements, meaning there was never a reason to look back around. There was also a lack of engaging choreography for a production that had a lot of actors moving around. These factors helped to translate the experience to the more edited version that is now available.
The bulk of my entertainment started to manifest after the first hour. While that first part is fine, the momentum really picks up afterward. There is much more drama in the second half, and the quality of the music goes up as well. What really ties everything together is the recurring pieces of music that narratively build up characters and their motivations. When the curtain call happens, I looked back at and appreciated my time getting to experience the musical. It earned my time, and I felt good having watched it.
Hamilton is a great watching experience despite the more focused approach. While the music is good, it was the performance of Daveed Diggs and the small appearances of Jonathan Groff that made me believe in seeing it rather than listening to it. Aside from the historical aspects, it's a well-told biography that's engaging and keeps you interested. It earns the runtime, and you can finally understand why people wouldn't stop raving over it, though you might not end up as enamored as they did.
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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