Frozen 2 review: A safe but good step into the unknown

Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Cast: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Josh Gad
Score: 3.5

The Sequel format is an amazing thing sometimes. It's been used to great effect and has also been seen as the bane of storytelling. In this wide spectrum, Frozen 2 sits comfortably in the middle, inching ever so close towards the better side of things.

Frozen 2 picks up some three years after the first film, and Elsa has since taken reign of the kingdom of Arendelle. The kingdom is jolly, lively and nice with all the people there singing and making merry like an average Disney kingdom, until one day, Elsa accidentally triggers four elemental spirits that thrived in an old forest, and she has to go to the root of it to save her home.

By all accounts, Frozen 2 is a spectacular follow-up to its predecessor. The production value is way higher, the characters are much better and the songs are also quite fun, though one could argue there's a few too many of those.

Elsa, after her episode in the first film, has grown into a fine queen, who cares for her people, and together with her group - her sister, Anna, the snowman Olaf, Anna's boyfriend Kristoff and reindeer Sven, venture into the forest, with the aim to learn what happened before the sisters' father came to rule and hopefully put an end to their troubles.

Elsa and Anna have come incredibly close following their crucible-like situation in the first film, growing to depend on each other in a more traditional sibling-like manner. Kristoff is struggling with taking the next step with Anna, and Olaf, by all accounts, is the glue holding the group together.

To be frank, while all the characters are well-developed, though Elsa does make some questionable choices in the path for answers, Olaf is undoubtedly the best of the lot, carrying the entire film all by himself, even enacting a perfect animated version of the legendary "This is fine" meme, even as the entire forest literally tears him apart over and over again in increasingly comical ways.

The songs, as mentioned before, are just a shade into the "too many" part, though most of them are pretty catchy and on a level that surpasses the first film. It feels like it reflects the characters' emotions more than it does the events that surround them, which is about par for Disney's musicals.

The plot, though, plays it too safe. For a film that relies on the idea of stepping into unknown realms, the plot quietly tip-toes over safe and proven tropes, which dampens the overall impact somewhat. There's never any real risk that any character faces, never any real threat. Even the spirits, at their angriest, are really not all that menacing.

Overall, Frozen 2 is a fair package. It's got the punches right when it comes to characters and comedy, but it could've done a better job with the songs and the plot in general.

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