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Frozen 2 - Review

Frozen 2

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

FANS of Frozen may have had to wait six years for the return of their beloved Elsa and Anna but the wait proves worth it with this dark but empowering sequel.

Co-written and co-directed once again by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, this offers a more original – and therefore more unexpected – story that takes an arguably more complex emotional route. But there’s still plenty of humour, some catchy songs and some stunning visuals that create an overall sense of empowerment befitting the arc of both sisters.

Said story finds Elsa (Idina Menzel) haunted by a mysterious voice that threatens to bring an end to the stability of the kingdom of Arendelle that she protects and rules with the help of both her ice powers and the wise insights and reassurances of her plucky sister Anna (Kristen Bell).

Compelled to investigate the source of the voice and its power, Elsa heads into an enchanted forest with Anna, Krystoff (Jonathan Groff) and Olaf (Josh Gad) in tow, whereupon she uncovers some historic injustices that need correcting and the truth behind her mother and father’s fate.

The only trouble is, in order to correct the wrongs of the past, sacrifices may have to be made and the future of Arendelle hangs in the balance.

Where the original Frozen was based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale The Snow Queen, and felt quite sprightly as a result, Frozen 2 enters more complex territory and occasionally struggles to keep all of its [snow] balls in the air. The middle section, in particular, sometimes feels overly convoluted at the expense of the film’s otherwise breezy momentum.

But while this sometimes feels like a weakness, it arguably also gives rise to the head-rush moments that Lee and Buck ultimately deliver in the film’s grandest, most visually awesome moments, with Elsa’s journey particularly inspiring as she once more overcomes insecurity and fear to re-master her powers and her place in the world.

And that’s not to say the original’s sense of fun and goofiness is missing. There is plenty of comedy (some of it slapstick) to be found, whether in Olaf’s inherent naivety and sweetness (a song set in a creepy forest which makes a mockery of the surrounding danger is particularly funny), Krystoff’s bumbling romanticism (neatly subverting traditional Disney ‘prince’ elements) or his reindeer’s well-meaning meddling.

It’s also notable that Frozen 2 also proudly places themes of feminism, inclusion and equality front and centre, offering a positive and timely message for anyone willing to contemplate the wider picture.

And while delivering all of this, let’s not forget the visual palette, which is often jaw-dropping in its beauty. It’s a well thought out sequel, fully deserving of the box office love that is almost certain to follow.

Certificate: U
Running time: 1hr 43mins
UK Release Date: November 22, 2019

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