Disenchanted feels confused and half-cocked, but Enniskerry looks like Disney World – The Irish Times

disenchanted

Director: adam shankman

certificate: None

Protagonist: Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, Maya Rudolph, Yvette Nicole Brown, Jayma Mays, Gabriella Baldacchino, Idina Menzel, James Marsden

Execution time: 1hr 58min

Disney’s belated streaming sequel to its delicious 2007 hit Enchanted opens with its lead couple: Amy Adams still Giselle; Patrick Dempsey is still Robert and he doesn’t live happily ever after in Manhattan. Short on space, they decide to move to a satellite town a train ride away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Inevitably, Morgan, Giselle’s teenage stepdaughter, is depressed about being stuck in this pretty bedroom. You know the kind of place, all clean lawns and gossip about boxed hedges.

I was disappointed largely filmed in Enniskerry.

Oh, relax, Wicklow. We are kidding. If you can’t laugh at it, you certainly won’t smile at the jokes in this exhausting effort to recapture long-dissipated magic in an elaborately decorated bottle.

Disenchanted isn’t, to be fair, nearly as terrible as the recent Disney+ streaming service. Hocus Pocus 2. It helps that they’re following a good movie instead of a terrible one. No sane person would rank the songs among the best of Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, but, if we are to have mid-range belts, then Disney’s A-lister is better off writing the stuff.

For all of that, Disenchanted feels confused, half-cocked, and carried away by his need to constantly speak to us through his nonchalant high-concept.

You’ll recall that the original functioned as a celebration and pastiche of Disney’s sunny animated fantasies. Adams played a fairy princess, a friend of singing animals, who is transported to early millennium New York and, after several affairs, ends up married to Dempsey’s initially bitter divorce lawyer.

The challenge in such sequels is to break the closing order of the previous film and reignite the conflicts. There’s something about a wishing well. There’s something about a magic wand. Eventually, Enniskerry is transformed into a highlight of the archetypal kingdom of fairy tales. (I mean, it looks like Walt Disney World.) The local baddie (Maya Rudolph, always welcome) becomes an evil queen. The fawning guy from the cafeteria becomes her “mirror on the wall”. And so on.

What we really needed was something along the lines of the second Scream movie: a sequel that, instead of simply deconstructing classic Disney tropes, satirized the emerging conventions of the streaming sequel.

What we really needed was something along the lines of the second Scream movie: a sequel that, instead of simply deconstructing classic Disney tropes, satirized the emerging conventions of the streaming sequel. You might cynically comment that we accidentally ended up with it. Too much of this overlong entertainment is devoted to musings on what elements of tradition are explored in the reinvention of the city.

The most intriguing subplot has Giselle battling the transformation into an evil stepmother, but Adams doesn’t get enough worthwhile material. She knows how to straighten her shoulders like an ugly sister. She knows how to squeeze the vowels. However, her toxicity never satisfactorily sours her inherent goodness.

It’s not a huge surprise to learn that, following rumors of “mixed reactions” to a test screening, reshoots were done in Buckinghamshire (boo!) earlier this year. Though not a total disaster, Disenchanted feels limped by commitment. Maybe it’s been too long. The clever deconstructions of the first film have been repeated into oblivion in TV series like Schmigadoon! and disenchantmint. When has such a long overdue sequel ever lived up to the original? Okay, stop yelling “Top Gun” at me. It’s still hard. It’s hard. An honorable effort, but the magic is gone.

Disenchanted is streaming on Disney+ starting today

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