Teen Beach 2 is property of Disney
Hello, Spongey here.
It’s time once again to review a recent DCOM that just appeared on Netflix! I’d like to see we’re almost caught up…but there’s a new one coming out in October, so we’ll be behind until 2016.
Ah well. In the meantime, let’s talk about Teen Beach Movie. Back in 2013, I reviewed this movie and I quite liked it. As you recall, it revolved around these teens that got trapped in a 60’s beach movie.
The movie was a fun homage to that genere that was quite clever and amusing. You can read my review for full details, but that’s all you need to know right now. The important thing is that it was a huge hit….but it was he only DCOM that year and thus they advertised the hell out of it.
But hey, a hit is a hit. While I did like the movie, and there was a sort of sequel hook, I’m not sure I wanted one. I thought the story was complete, really. But they announced one for 2015 anyway, and there’s where we are.
It didn’t do as well as the first one, but it still did well. Reception was about the same: Mostly people who failed to even see the point, but some were actually fair. For the most part, people liked it less than the first one, and spoilers, I’m on that side.
But we’ll see if it’s still good on it’s own. The director stayed on board with this one, but we got a change in writers. Now they are Matt Eddy, and Billy Eddy….the guys who helped write Zapped and Bad Hair Day.
Man, they are getting around recently….and they are on the next DCOM too. Yeesh. Zapped was flawed but Bad Hair Day was alright. Let’s see where this falls in.
This, is Teen Beach 2
The movie opens with our main characters Mack (once again played by Maia Mitchell) and Brady, (again played by Ross Lynch) on The Last Day of summer. Brady sets up a romantic meet up at the very place they meet 3 months ago.
Yep, this only takes place a few months later, and most of it will take place in school rather than a Beach. First they set High School Musical’s sequel out of school, now they do this. Weird.
They regale us with the story of how they properly met, which involves that Wet Side Story movie. So that technically brought them together,\ before it brought them even further together, interesting.
And of course they have to watch a bit of Wet Side Story to cap the evening off. More specifically the ending song…which we somehow never saw before. Huh? Well anyway, this beings our first, which is all about how it was the best summer and they thank you for coming along.
Jokes aside, this song is pretty good. It would have been a better closing song for the first film, but it’s a fun and catchy opening number for this movie. Also, this line:
“We can’t stop singing cuz the surfs up, it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. I’m fallin’ for ya cuz I’m Surf crazy, Just like me, just like me. We’re Crusin’, Crusin’ for a…”
I haven’t heard song title drops that weak since..
“You ready to bop it to the top cuz remember, we’re all in this together”
“Okay, You’re pushing it to the limit’
After that, they talk for a bit and wonder if being in school will make their lives any different. She assures him they will be fine. They won’t be fine. Suddenly, the necklace Lela from the movie gave her vanishes. That’s…sort of important for later.
We then cut to the first day of school, which is full of teenagers doing things teenagers never do. Brady meets up with his friends where they do annoying “bro” things.
“The swells were nectar”
…What the hell does that mean?
“Beyond mondo dude”
I bet it was also pterodactyl fly.
Mack meets up with her friend, played by Piper Curda aka Jasmine from I Didn’t Do It. It’s better than the last time we dealt with her. Also ,despite her being kind of popular right now, they barely mentioned her in the trailers….because she pretty much adds nothing to the story, honestly.
Brady meets up with them and we see their differences when it comes to friend choices. As you can imagine, this is leading to a story line where Brady feels like he doesn’t fit in with Mack while she’s busy with other people while at school. I’ll comment on it further as we go along.
Later at science class, we get Mack being smart and Brady being stupid. As if we needed to be reminded of that. Anyway, Mack is organizing some upcoming dance and Brady wants it to be Beach themed but there’s no time to do that. Then she reminds him of some College Fair thing they have to go to later.
Yeah, like the first one, and a certain other musical sequel, we have themes of the characters thinking about their futures and all that. It’s…better than when HSM 2 did it, but like the first Beach Movie it comes with similar flaws.
Brady looks into that at his home which is on the beach. For some reason, this fact is a plot point because it’s a secret for some reason. Brady moans about how Mack knows what she wants to do, but he’s clueless at the moment.
He leaves Wet Side Story playing on the smallest TV ever seen in 2013 (only a few months after the first one, remember?) and we join the world of the movie again. A familiar scene from the movie plays out …until Lela randomly suggests to join Tanner, when she just stood by before.
Everyone is weirded out by this, and Lela just suggests they start back from where they were. Keep this in mind for later. Back in the real world, Brady is late for the College thing because of course he is.
This leads to a “dramatic” moment where they bitch at each other. It’s a weak fight though, as the just go “you suck” and that’s it. Mack’s mad because Brady won’t say why he ditched her and Brady’s mad because of…reasons.
Honestly, Mack hasn’t done anything too bad so it looks like Brady will be the one to learn a lesson, more so than Mack.
Brady runs back to home to sing Song #2, which is just some sad song about what just happened. It’s the weakest song in this movie but it’s not bad. Honestly, despite going deeper into the themes of the first one, I’m not as interested. Mostly since it means less beach fun and it takes longer to fully get into that.
Thankfully, we jump back into the movie after the song, right during the Fallin’ for Ya scene. Lela randomly doesn’t want to do this and runs off. This throws everyone into confusion and Tanner talks to her about this. She says Mack’s little visit inspired her and she wants to be like her.
Wait a second. So they are knowingly repeating the events of the movie on a endless loop, with the knowledge of the events of the first film. They are on a weird Groundhog day loop and are just okay with it?
That…raises so many question that this movie is not smart enough to answer.
Lela’s necklace that vanished her suddenly washes up on the beach. Yeah, it’s implied that this thing is somehow magic and somehow the way they will go from world to world in this movie. I don’t get it.
And yes, that magic board is never mentioned, nor is Barry Bostwick. It’s like he never existed…
Lela decides she wants to go to Mack’s world.
“Goodbye Bikers. Goodbye Surfers. Goodbye people standing in the background that never spoke whose names I don’t know!”
Everyone stands there as Lela runs off.
“Maybe we should sing a song, that usually fixes everything”
Lela walk into the ocean and Tanner follows her. Like magic, they pop up in our world. Yep, there’s our premise, just like the credits stinger promised. It doesn’t happen at all like it did there, but ah well.
This whole movie is based on just the gimmick of the movie characters being in our world, with the plot and themes being written around it. For that standard, it works since they use it for good Comedy and they at least try to go a bit deeper.
Right away they marvel at how different the world is, and we have a quick obligatory phone joke. Brady conveniently happens to be on the beach, as is Mack. Before they can bicker some more, they spot Lela and Tanner.
They quickly explain how they got here, and Brady and Mack are just okay with it. To be fair after what they did before, this kind of thing wouldn’t seem too implausible. Lela and Tanner are pretty happy to visit this world.
So of course they sing about it in Song #3. This is our first real song that isn’t part of the movie within a movie or a slow thing. It’s pretty good and fun. …Not much to say really. It doesn’t have as much humor as some of the other songs, but it works to show the differences between these characters and this world.
“It’s pretty great that they’re here. It’s pretty weird and kind of impossible, but I did miss them”
They quickly discover that their visitors still apply to the film laws of physics, as their hair is dry as it gets hit by water. This reminds them that they should get them home given what happened to them in the first movie.
So now they must convince Lela and Tanner to go back to their world. I’ll say now that this film has a bit of a pacing issue as it’s obvious that this premise couldn’t hold a whole movie so we get some padding here and there. You’ll some more of it as we go along, I just wanted to point it out now.
Mack takes Lela home for a trying on clothes montage, because they plan to take their movie friends to school. At first there’s no reason but now it’s to show them at this world ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. …And yeah, High School is a perfect example of that.
Back in the movie, everyone is completely lost without the main characters to guide the story. Now this is pretty interesting and it leads to amusing moments and conflict as we go along.
They desperately try to keep things afloat by having Chi-Chi and Seacat sing Fallin’ for Ya, It doesn’t count as our next song, but it’s pretty amazing. Easily one of the funniest parts of the film, and my brother certainly agrees.
Mack and Brady welcome their film friends to school. They seem to hit it off with fellow high schoolers fairly well. They actually seem to like this world. I guess that’s what happens when you take them to a Disney Channel High School. Those seem to like people who sing.
“I have a plan. We turn them loose, along in the most dangerous, confusing, scary place imaginable”
Lela and Tanner notice that everyone is in some kind of clique and most high schoolers are assholes.
“Why is everyone sitting a part?”
This leads to…Song #4. Yep, a whole musical number with these kids trying to get all the high schoolers to get along, and “twist that frown upside down”. It’s…a pretty fun song, really. It even gets everyone to agree and like each other.
I love how they somehow get these normal people to join in on a sptoneanus musical number, only to go back to normal right after. This bit is basically a BLAM as this whole Clique is not brought up again…but that’s the point, so it’s my 2nd favorite song in the movie.
Oh, we’ll get to my favorite….eventually.
This song does a few odd elements. Like this bit…
NERD: I’m really sorry my face your first
JERK DUDE: It’s okay, now I know you exist
NERD: Haven’t I seen you in class?
HOT CHICK: Yes, every day, this year and last
CHEERLEADER: It’s pretty cool how you wail on the bass
You can’t hear it, but all of this is so obvliously dubbed that it’s hilarious.
Christ, that’s a good question!
Also, the whole set up sounds…familiar. A song set in a cafeteria about cliques. Hm….eh, I’m just going crazy.
“We will never speak of this ever again”
…Okay then, let’s move on. We cut back to Wet Side Story, some characters start vanishing out of nowhere. This bit is short but it’s important since this is where the tension starts.
Later, Tanner starts to have deep thoughts, as this world is starting to have some effect on him. He’s starting to worry about him and Lela. Tanner’s side of this doesn’t quite go anywhere big but it’s a nice moment.
Brady shows him the cool stuff he does with Surfboards, and Tanner asks why he doesn’t show it to Mack. He says she wouldn’t “Get” him being all into Surfboards like this. Uh, she knows you are a Surfer Dude, and she would actually like that you are applying smart things to stuff you like.
“What’s a-…where’s College?”
Did they not have College in 1962?
Meanwhile, Mack tries to tell Lela about how much better the film world is. She seems to perfer the real world though, as there is more to life than just finding the right now. Suddenly, this is interrupted when Mack notices that Lela looks a lot more…modern.
She goes to Tanner and Brady to talk about this random and subtle change. That’s not the only change as Tanner’s smile doesn’t come with a “ding” and their hair can get wet. WET I TELL YOU!
So they just break the news to them that they are film characters and not real people. Hey, the villains faced that reality in the first movie. Looks like we’re going deep into that. …Hey, where did the villains go anyway? They aren’t even mentioned here!
They actually accept this pretty quickly. Too quickly, actually. But I suppose we need to keep the plot moving. Lela doesn’t want to live in the movie world. This whole deep conflict would work better if they DIDN’T need to go back into the movie world for them to surive.
“We could explain to them in a language they know…”
Oh yeah, here we go. They explain ….in song. I don’t care that the “real” characters can somehow make a song appear out of nowhere. The resulting Song #5 is pretty much my favorite song in the movie.
The song is all about how awesome it is to be in a movie, with tons of film references and clever wordplay stuff. It’s basically this films’ version of Can’t Stop Singing with how meta it is.
I mean, this is a song about the unrealistic world of film…during an unrealistic movie. This song is quite a bit of fun and is very catchy. The only song in this movie that I fault was on par with the best numbers in the original.
I’ll highlight 2 of the more interesting bits in the song:
‘You say a bad word and it bleeps”
I don’t know, I just find it amusing swearing was directly reference in a DCOM.
“If it’s good, they’ll make a sequel’
I believe you mean profitable.
And even after that whole song, Lela still doesn’t want to go back to the film world. Hey, tell her she’ll vanish forever if she doesn’t go back to her movie. ..That’s kind of important.
“Well that was dramatic, and potentially terrible”
Back in the movie, more people vanish and they start to think that Lela and Tanner leaving has something to do with it. So they decide to walk into the water to get to our world.
Good, only took you an hour to make this the big extravaganza the credits stinger promised us.
Sure enough, they arrive on the shore in the real world. But even with her movie friends here to take her home, she doesn’t want to leave. Now she’s just being stubborn.
As soon as she hears that people in the movie are vanishing, she starts to rethink her decision. So her subconscious need to go into the real world and be a normal person got her world in trouble. …Ouch.
“I’ve gotta go back. It’s our job”
Well, okay, I guess we’re done here.
So with that, they have their tearful goodbyes. I love how all this song stuff did nothing but one person quickly saying something got her to go, without even thinking. I know it technically makes sense but it’s just funny to me.
With that, they all walk into the water and go back to the film world. Well, I guess the movie’s over….What do you mean there’s more than 20 minutes left?!
….Yeah, I said there were some pacing issues and it shows up even more here.
We cut to the School Dance thing that night. Oh yeah, we have that….and this is the 3rd DCOM in a row with a dance. Weird. At least it’s not a huge major plot point this time.
Things between Brady and Mack still aren’t perfect, which means the Lela and Tanner stuff had little effect on them in the long run. Srot of. I say that because….the movie characters suddenly barge in!
Yep, they came here to help make things right between Mack and Brady. …Okay, but if you were going to have all of this be the big climax, maybe you should have cut that initial Goodbye scene, because as it is it makes the movie feel kind of clunky.
Also ,it’s sad how it took movie characters risking their lives to make Brady realize something he should have known all by himself. Tanner just gives a speech which causes Brady to get his head back in the game.
Brady goes up to the band that is playing and has them play Song #6. Yeah, Brady again has skills only the movie characters should have. But anyway, this is the “big” song for the movie because it’s the one they showed in all the ads. And it’s like 50 years long.
It’s pretty catchy but it’s one of those songs that doesn’t really have a ton of meaning compared to the other songs. But it’s fun and big and works for the movie.
And with that one song, they are pretty much cool again. Are you sure this is the realistic world?
Before they can celebrate, one of the film characters vanishes again. Now it’s a race against time to get them back to their world. Geez the pacing really is wonky here. Anyway, they finally remember that magic surfboard and decide to use it to take them back since they don’t have Lela’s Necklace for whatever reason.
We never find out the deal with this magic items, or how that necklace became magic.
The surfboard is of no use to them anyway because there are no waves for them to surf on. I guess the necklace let you just walk into the ocean while this thing works differently.
The other characters besides Lela and Tanner vanish….so we don’t have to deal with 50 people on one board. Because it’s a desperate situation, Brady takes Mack to his secret beach house place. Oh yeah I forgot about that.
It turns out she’s totally fine with it because he’s apply smart stuff to something he’s into. ….Which is pretty much what I said earlier. So this conflict was completely pointless!
Anyway, Brady made a board with a motor thing that will let you surf when there’s no surf. Yep, of course it’s a convenient solution. So after they have their little moment they give the board to Lela and Tanner.
This gives our heroes time to have another moment and sing a reprise of Meant to be Be from the first move. It’s a nice moment I suppose. Mack tells Lela that she doesn’t have to be exactly what she was like before, she can be her own woman.
“Change the movie”
..Uh, haven’t we learned that that is a BAD idea? Whatever.
With that drawn out Goodbye (making the previous goodbye pointless), you think we’d be wrapping up, but no. We have extra tension with them trying to get the board to work.
It’s pretty cool I guess, but it kind of pads things out. It only takes like a minute to fix the problem and get the board going, because SUSPENSE. Either way, Lela and Tanner ride off and while we don’t quite see it, we assume they finally make it back.
So it’s all happy days….but now I gotta pause for a second. The ending is coming up and happens over a decent amount of minutes. Usually I just cover it like I do the rest of the movie nad make comments, than bitch about the abrupt ending.
I changed this slightly for Anger Management, but I just skipped one aspect of the ending so I can bitch about it in full. This is a tiny a bit like that. I will tell you everything that happens in this big ending….but I won’t comment until the very end.
Why? You’ll see. It’s…the big thing I’ve been building up, and I think I did it better than all my TV Reviews. So let’s go:
Brady walks up to shore….but he runs past Mack and talks to his awkward unfunny friend. They just talk about how the friend suggested night body surfing. They notice that this save the beach party thing is happening right next to them, so they head towards it.
He asks Mack, the person heading this thing what this is all about, and she says it’s a beach theme party, more specifically a 1962 Beach Movie called “Lela Queen of the Beach”.
“I’m not sure that movie is exactly my jam”
“But that movie was totally ahead of it’s time. It’s the reason I love to surf”
They happen to be playing the movie on a screen there, so Brady decides to give it a shot. The movie starts up and it’s exactly what it says on the Tin, with Lela being a badass queen.
It involves out 7th and final song, the Surf Crazy of that movie.
It’s a different story cuz I changed the end, I make my own destiny
After a few minutes of this crazy song with a rather nonsense chorus, we see that Brady and Mack really connected over this.
And with that, the movie ends.
Yeah, let’s talk about this, there’s a lot go over. Allow me to simplify what just happened: Lela indeed went back into the movie and changed into a girl power fest….and a result it’s not the movie Brady got into, so he didn’t get into ,and Mack did instead. This means they never met until way after they originally did.
….I’m not sure where to begin. This ending was pretty divisive, with people either loving or hating it. As for me….well, it’s complicated. Let’s think about it. This is a DCOM where they actually put in a major twist ending that was bound to divide viewers.
In other words, they took a genuine risk. Sure, they may have done something in this vein in the past, but not to this extent. They made it so the past films we saw didn’t actually happen, because they thought this was an appropriate way to take the film.
So despite all of the flaws it might have, I give them a lot of credit for going through with this, instead of worrying that their teen audience will be actually challenged by a change.
….With that said, I am mixed on this ending. I do ike the risk they took and the final song is a lot of fun despite being a bit weird and over long. However, it doesn’t really make any sense when you think about it.
For one, it creates a time paradox. If things changed so Mack and Brady never met, they wouldn’t have gone into Wet Side Story, and thus caused Lela to want to leave her world. And thus Mack couldn’t tell her to change the story in the first place.
…Why is this more confusing than the actual time travel DCOM?
And then there’s other confusing thing. Wet Side Story isn’t just some fictional unvierse in this movie. It’s an actual movie that obviously involved a lot of real actors and writers….How exactly are they effected by all this?
A dumb romance can’t be the only thing changed by this. And how did Lela change the movie anyway? None of this really makes any sense when you think about it. So it’s a mixed bag: Ambitious, but kind of weird with it’s logic.
I can see some may hate it and why some may love it. I just simply respect them doing it despite it’s flaws. …
Okay, I’m done rambling. I had to type this part twice due to difficulties, so let’s just wrap this up.
When all is said and done, how was the movie? It’s alright. Despite it’s flaws, I enjoyed it in the same way I enjoyed this first one. It’s not as good though, and it has a fair amount of flaws.
Let’s get into those first. It’s a bit rehash in some ways. It’s not as bad or blatant as some other sequels, but it’s there. Characters from one world end up in another and the conflict comes from that causing some problems. They mix this is in with drama with Mack and Brady and use this to go into deeper themes about destinty.
Now, it’s not a fully rehash because of how different the exection it is, but it does seem a bit familiar. They don’t execute this as well either because the drama and Comedy aren’t as good, so they don’t mix as well.
The first movie pulled that off better by focusing more on Comedy and just mixing the drama decently at the end. I’m also not too interesting in the main stuff with Brady and Mack this time. I like the themes but it’s resolved too easily and they don’t go that deep into it.
I also think the villains should have been here. Adding them would have made more things more interesting since they were a big part of the movie too it would be cool to have them around to be awesome.
I wanted more prominent new characters. We only get Brady’s friend, who is annoying, and Piper Curda, who does nothing. Again, it would have made things more interesting. I think the bulk of this movie is a bit too safe and really needed more meat to it.
But despite all of my bitching, I still enjoy it. None of this really effects my personal enjoyment because it just doesn’t bug me externally. They still kept what made the first movie fun.
I like the themes presented and it’s still qutie clever and funny. It’s not as funny as before but it has quite a few clever moments, and the movie characters are very likable. They are really dedicated to these roles and they are fun to watch.
The songs may not be quite as good as in the first movie, but they are mostly fun and are the highlights of the film. This film is just a fun diversion with some decent themes here and there.
And it has a pretty balls-y ending for a DCOM. It is flawed and kind of makes the movie pointless but I give them credit for going through with it. While normal people won’t see enough too crazy, this is a twist most of the Tween Audience might not like it because it “challenges” them. So again, I like that they were willingly to do it.
So overall, it’s just fun. The first movie was just a fun flick too, but it managed to be more due to being surprisingly clever for a DCOM. It would be impossible to recapture that magic but they tried.
It’s quite flawed, especially as a sequel but it does add nothing. It’s got some fun songs, an interesting, and is overall an enjoyable experience. Nothing special but it’s just a fun time.
Seeing as I don’t think this movie needed to exist in the first placed, it worked out fine. Will there be a 3rd one? …Maybe, the ending could be used to back up an argument for or against a 3rd one.
As for me…if they use the ending and go way deeper into the problems I addressed…maybe? We’ll just have to see, for now we have 2 fun and solid flicks.
Next time…well…if all goes well, it well be quite the special surprise….you’ll see.