Hello, Spongey here.
Well, we have a new DCOM coming out. Looks like I have to do another tie in. Since this one is Teen Beach 2, (which looks okay), I figured I’d do a sequel.
I only had two options and in the end I went with our old pal Zenon. I review Zenon Girl on the 21st Century a few months ago and I thought it was …okay. It was enjoyable but the script was pretty bear with not a ton of depth, and it had hilariously bad late 90’s future slang.
It’s one of the weaker Classic DCOM’s but I do actually like it. It was a big hit so naturally they made a sequel in 2001. There isn’t a lot to say since I haven’t heard much about this one.
The writer is the same and I covered him last time so we’ll skip to our new director. He did some other obscure DCOM’s…that’s it.
So will this one manage to be an improvement, or will it be disaster major? Let’s shut up and dive in.
This, is Zenon: The Zequel
Before we start, let me say this: That is the worst sequel subtitle ever. Yes, worse than Squeakel. I mean…Zequel? Seriously? At least Squeakel is a pun on a real world. What the hell is Zequel?
Whatever, hopefully the movie is better.
The movie opens with a narrator way too cool for this movie recapping the first movie.
“However, Zenon is also 15 years old, and everything in her Stellanarious life is about to change forever”
And his coolness drops once he spouts the slang. Great.
Anyway, we join Zenon one year after the first one as she is still spouting bad slang on the space station. Only this time Raven is now the friend from Color of Friendship, for some reason.
After a dumb scene with them playing around, Zenon tells the friend that she got dumped by Greg, that sort of love interests from the first one. I’d be mad if I cared to begin with.
“He dumped me. How is that possible?”
Anyway, in that scene I skipped, Zenon did something that caused an accident so she is now banned from roaming the restricted areas. Good to see she learned nothing from the last movie.
She is forced to work in some lab as further punishment. Later, she sees a news report saying the lead singer of Prota Zoa, that boy band from the first one, has kind of vanished. There are a lot of jokes I can make here…
Later still, we find out some military guys are coming to take charge following the whole mess from the first film. So Zenon is being reckless and must learn respaonilty and people are coming to the station and there’s a good chance it could be shut down.
….Yeah, that sounds like new concepts to this franchise.
General Hammond arrives and asks to speak to Zenon. And right away I can tell he’s going to be the best part of the movie. Yeah, it’s that kind of performance. Her mission is to be responsible for his daughter, who is the Alpha bitch form the first movie.
She acts in the way you expect and I already enjoy her more than in the first one. She threatens to make Daddy reassign Zenon is she screws up.
We get a montage of Margie being a bitch and we cut to Zenon in that lab which is basically a place that finds and intercepts alien messages.
It’s been dead air for a while but naturally it’s when Zenon starts working there that it starts to get something.
Zenon thinks it’s an alien but of course people think it’s just nothing. Even the crazy guy who suggested the concept in the first place. And now people refuse to believe Zenon about something. This is sequel is full of fresh ideas!
Later, Zenon does stuff and we get another glimpse at future tech that is somehow less impressive than modern tech. 2015 ftw. Also, apparently in the future there are two movies in a franchise called Romeo and Juliet on mars.
Somehow, they makes more sense than making them seals.
After that, she returns to work at that lab and hears more weird alien noises. Of course no one believes her once again. So in other words, the same thing happened twice in a row.
More accidents happen on the ship and Zenon starts to get worried that they will end up crashing to Earth or something. The military guys force some changes to the point where the space station head guy has to move to a janitor’s closet.
Oh, and there’s a quick gag about the Stock Market Crash of 2006. Oh early 2000’s, you so silly.
Zenon receives mocking for the alien thing, which is just odd since aliens aren’t too odd in this future universe. Also, she bitches at the friend cuz …uh…reasons. She is hanging with Margie but not in a big way and Zenon was okay earlier and this is the only 2nd time they were seen together.
They argue over stupid reasons and eventually get angry and leave. You know, Zenon has brought up the alien thing like twice and only got crazy over it cuz people refused to believe her. And why is she so into it anyway? She heard one noise and suddenly she buys into aliens?
….Yeesh, I’m ranting a lot and we’re too far in. Too be fair, the sad scenes work better here than before.
As if on cue, the alien noise appears on an early 2000’s future version of on ipad. It suddenly hits her that the noise is just like that boy band song that is still stuck in my head.
“The aliens want to meet Prota Zoa!”
Playing a song means they want to meet them? Well, it would explain that guy vanishing. Also, aliens are into boy bands. Who knew? But let’s put that on hold, because it looks like the friend is being sent to Earth.
Looks like their silly fight was pointless. They share a nice moment and the friend is shipped off the next morning. So now someone is being sent to Earth against their will. …More original ideas.
But of course, Zenon sneaks into one of the crates on the ship and ends up following the friend to Earth. This will end well. As it turns out, Margie had the same idea and is now here for some reason.
They visit Zenon’s Aunt person and explain the alien thing.
“Of course it’s aliens”
So now their mission is to find the boy band and the aliens who took him. This is the most epic plot ever. Zenon thinks studying their lyrics is a way to figure this out. They look at some of the stuff he says a lot and heard towards the home of some woman named Linda Nova.
Oh, and while that is going on, we find out Margie sent a message to her Dad saying that Zenon captured her and basically forced her to go to Earth.
Wow, fuck you.
Our heroes arrive at their destination and it turns out Proto Zoa is there. Apparently he’s been hiding out here on purpose just to get away from it all. Well that’s anti climatic. Anyway, Zenon tells him about the alien thing and he’s not too keen on it at first.
Then Zenon tells him he’ll be famous for being the first rock star to meet aliens. He’s on board now.
Now they gotta figure out how and where to meet these guys. They are able to use techno babble to get an idea where they are but now they gotta get there. They figure they shall just call Margie’s Dad, set the record straight, and ask for a shuttle back home.
Cuz he’s be totally up for it after the crap you pulled.
It turns out he’s busy with a meeting and they find out that he plans to decommission the space station after the damage the bad guy from the 1st movie did to it. …Okay now the plot is a bit more interesting.
The aliens apparently sent Zenon a map and she, with the help of a tech guy, is able to decipher it and figure out where to go. And on top of all that, Zenon and Margie finally talk things out and find out why they hate each other so much.
It’s the typical thing where the Alpha bitch is the way she is due to a not so good family situation. She’s jealous of Zenon and all that good stuff. Zenon even vents about how she’s gotten everyone so worried and what may happen if the alien stuff is crappy.
Typical it may be, but this is the most depth we’ve seen from this franchise so far. So it’s pretty nice and it’s good to see Zenon opening up a bit.
After that, Zenon’s Aunt tells the Head guy about the military guy’s plans and he goes to talk to him…about getting a shuttle to meet his “girlfriend’. Smooth. He’s cool with it.
Long story short, Zenon’s Mom ends up having to help pilot the shuttle that will take them to the alien. Mostly cuz Plank got caught by Hammond and blah blah. Mom arrives in a ship and boom, they are off.
We then get a nice moment as Mom thanks Zenon for forcing her to get out of her shell and start flying again. It’s a sweet bit of substance, which again, this franchise needed.
But whoops, they are out of fuel so they are lost in space. And they will crash into a moon. Yikes, now this is the kind of stakes I wanted in the first one!
Then the aliens finally show up. …There goes the stakes. Also, way to wait 74 minutes to show up.
An alien saves them and pops up on the ship. As it turns out the alien is a uh….weird hard to describe being. Think of a trippy hologram that can’t really talk. It looks cool but I think they were just too lazy to pay any actual actors to put on bad Halloween costumes.
They somehow explain that they have been lost in space for 3 years and need working instruments to find their way back home. Yep, this whole time they were just asking for help. You think such intelligent beings could figure out an easier way to do it but ah well.
I mean, why use a boy band song? That part I don’t get.
They give our heroes a ride home but despite the amazing thing that just happened, Hammond is still pretty angry. Yeah, the aliens just kind of left, but Wikipedia says they show up in a bit so I’ll wait.
Margie defends Zenon’s actions as “brave”, and Hammond asks for proof. He saw the aliens bring them home. I think that’s all the proof you need.
As if on cue, the Aliens pop up to fix the space station. I wish all aliens were that nice. Then everything is just…fine as we cut to Prota Zoa having a celebrations concert. Also, the aliens simply picked the up concert transmission from the first movie and used it to contact Zenon. I’ll let Val Kilmer explain my reaction to that:
“It just raises too many questions”
By the way, in the end it looks like the aliens were just a plot device to fix the station so Hammond would leave them alone.
And then it turns out this is the wedding of Zenon’s Aunt and Plank. …Because they had a romance, I think?
Also, Margie and Zenon are totes besties now, so that’s cool.
If you guess the movie pretty much ends here after a little ditty from Proto then boom, you get how DCOM’s work at this point. Well, at least both movies have weak abrupt endings. Actually this one might be even weaker since the main conflict with Hammond just kind of stopped.
Also, this ended with a celebration backed up by Prota Zoa. …Yeah, I think at this point you get one complaint I have but let’s wrap this up.
Despite my pretty heavy snark, I feel the same way about this movie that I do the first one: Script Wise it’s kind of weak but overall it’s enjoyable in how cheesy it is. Though I will admit, part of me kind of liked this one a bit more despite its flaws.
Let’s go over the obvious problem: It’s a bit of a rehash in some places. I mean, bad guys want to destroy the station, people won’t believe Zenon about something, someone is sent to Earth against their will, and it ends with a dance party.
Now, this isn’t nearly bad as some other sequels out there but it’s still here. These elements make the film less memorable4 than it should be, which is sad since we have a few good ideas in here.
Also, the main conflict ends up being weakly resolved, and even the alien’s end up weak since they don’t talk and just end up being a plot device. I also feel like the script is all over the place some of these elements.
However, there is also better character development in this one…sort of. I feel that Zenon learned more in the first but we had more development scenes here. Stuff like Margie and the intense bits near the end make this one a bit more interesting in some places.
I also got used to the slang so it’s not as bad.
I feel they tried a bit more with this one and there were some enjoyable parts. Compared to the first one, it’s about the same. It had more development moments and I feel they tried harder, but this one also had a weaker structure and an even weaker ending.
But at the same, I did like the plot more. Zenon 1 had that Johnny Tsaummi stuff and a cliché villain, while this had a slightly more interesting villain and the alien stuff. It may not have worked out the best but it still okay.
So they are about equal. I find both enjoyable for how dumb they are, and I kind of got more enjoyment out of this one. It was a bit disappointing, since I was expecting something GOOD, but ah well.
Overall, it’s got problems but it has nice moments and it’s fun for being so cheesy. I hope the 3rd one is the good one, the one they’ve been really putting effort into. Though I’m also a bit scared, cuz that’s one that even Zenon fans don’t like. Ouch.
But until then we have 2 okay movies to enjoy.
Well, next month July Which means another dumb theme month. It’s…
I’m going to cry for a bit.