We could say that this is the season of sequels, with another Disney film, Disenchanted, following in the footsteps of the original from 15 years ago. Bringing back Amy Addams as Giselle from Enchanted, who settled down in New York City after her fairytale adventure from the previous film, this sequel tried to drag the story into something of a modern take on fairytales but failed to do so with utmost sincerity.
The way Disenchanted starts proved to be quite intriguing, and the way it ends is also gripping enough for a solid few minutes, but everything in between feels too lackluster for even fairytale fans. With almost mindless cluttering, a half-steady plot, and a lack of multi-directional character development, Disenchanted ends up being like one of the direct-to-home sequels from the 2000s that has nothing intriguing apart from character development.
Without saying that the film is extremely dull, it is, at best, a mediocre watch that is not necessarily what every viewer would enjoy.
Disenchanted review: A tale of could have beens
As the film opens with the exploration of the flawed concept of "happily ever after," it seems like Disney is trying to adapt fairytales into a more modern world.
As Pip (voiced by Griffin Newman) starts narrating the story, Giselle is seen in a completely different environment, living with her lawyer husband, Robert (Patrick Dempsey), now teenage daughter, Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino), and an infant kid in an apartment that barely seems to resemble the fairytale dream.
If Disney stuck to this troupe, it might as well have formed a compelling story with Amy Addams' multi-dimensional acting, something that she has developed rapidly since the previous film. But after a shift to the suburbs, the sequel decided to drag in magic again with the help of a wand from Andalasia - a gift from King Edward (James Marsden) and Nancy (Idina Menzel), who are delightful as always.
There is also a latent tension between the angsty teenage daughter and Giselle, which could have formed another compelling story, but Disenchanted decided to use the power of wishes to explore the fairytale world. Sure enough, Giselle's desire to have her "happily ever after" leads her to make a wish that would turn her world into a magical land.
This brings in more negatives than positives, with an evil queen, Malvina Monroe (Maya Rudolph), her cronies (Yvette Nicole Brown and Jayma Mays), and Giselle being cast into the role of the evil stepmother.
It is interesting to see Morgan as the princess, but most things happening inside the magical realm are over-cluttered and directionless. The part-animated bits of Andalasia are just as pleasing, but with less plot motivation, it seems more and more dragged.
If there is one thing slightly better in the latter part of the film, it is the ending. It is, of course, very predictable, but it is at least engaging in a fairytale way. But when the film is over, there is nothing very memorable in this Adam Shankman directorial. Even the soundtrack, which is supposed to be the stronger aspect of a film like this, is not memorable enough.
All in all, Disenchanted is a mediocre sequel to a delightful film, bringing back the characters but not the charm expected from a Disney fairytale.
Disenchanted is now streaming on Disney+.