It goes without saying that The Rise of Gru will appeal primarily to kids, but like Minions, this one has some fun with the decade in which it takes place. Numerous styles, pop culture references, and slang terms from the era should amuse the older folks, as will the impressive line-up of voice talent.
I suspect those who grew up with Space Jam might be a little put-off by the sequel’s overemphasis on spectacle. At the same time, it’s obvious A New Legacy was created to appeal to a generation raised on the internet, immersive video games and the certainty that King James – not Air Jordan – is the greatest basketball player of all time. And for all I know, those same kids will find the sight of Porky rapping very funny. In that respect, I suppose the film succeeds.
The combination of live action and animation is well done, though it’s certainly no Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the pair’s frequent battles are generally more destructive & loud than creative or funny. Neither Tom nor Jerry display any distinctive personalities, either. This could be a clash between any cat and mouse. The live actors don’t fare any better. Moretz isn’t required to do much but act snarky and brash, while Peňa is wasted in a thankless role, tasked with simply being an uptight antagonist. Why is a guy this naturally funny regulated to a befuddled straight-man?
Frozen II never reaches the heights of the first film. The plot – Elsa trying to save Arendelle by reconciling with the Enchanted Forest’s Northuldra tribe – is murkier.
The Lion King is obviously intended for those who enjoy paying to have their cars detailed: It’s still the same old vehicle, but for a brief time, you feel like you’re driving a shiny new set o’ wheels.
The acting was pretty par for the course for a movie of this type. The lone standout to me was the performance of Isabela Moner as Dora. This young actress really carried the show.