Looking at the ways you’ve dominated the Halloween season in recent years, it’s hard to imagine the original hocus pocus At first he got a disappointing reaction from the fans. However, hitting theaters in the summer didn’t do that dreaded effort any favor, and he didn’t debut in the following weeks. Jurassic ParkCinematic domination around the world. Fortunately, the film’s frequent broadcasts on the Disney Channel and growing home video markets have allowed the film to find its audience over the years, and now that that audience is beginning to have children of their own, each year sees the movie’s popularity grow with passion, so much so that we even get a sequel. hocus pocus 2 It feels like you’re chasing after old friends in the best way, reminding you of the emotional connection you have with the characters on screen and the many hours you spend with them, but once that charm wears off, you forget why you were reunited with them in the first place.
Much like the original movie, this sequel sees a group of friends inadvertently lighting a black flame candle on Halloween night, causing the witches Winifred (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mary Sanderson (Kathy Najimy) to return to their homes. Life wreaks havoc in the town of Salem. This time, instead of simply capturing the kids to prolong their youth, they aim to cast a spell that will make them strong, while teens Becca (Whitney Beck), Cassie (Lilia Buckingham), and Izzy (Belissa Escobedo) hope to put an end to their schemes.
Although 30 years have passed, Midler, Parker, and Najimy instantly show why they are all real stars and how the Sanderson sisters have become such influential characters this Halloween season. Their arrival in the movie soon after was followed by the trio exiting in song and embracing their lovable sister’s dynamics, as it felt like weeks had passed since they last played these characters instead of decades. These actors clearly love these characters as much as the audience, and they navigate easily between the mixture of humor and horror inherent in power-seeking witches, with the material they provide also expertly skewed to their strengths. Midler, Parker, and Najimi may have had various encounters over the years to honor the film, but it still feels like seeing them breathe life into these villains for a new generation.
Sanderson isn’t the only returning characters, as Doug Jones also reprises his role as Billy Bucherson, who’s relegated to performing a silent physical comedy in the first film. Like Billy himself, Jones hasn’t missed a step and looks like he shot the original just days ago.
The sequel isn’t entirely based on its laurels to remind you of the past, as newcomer Sam Richardson plays Gilbert, a magic shop owner who used to be Sanderson’s home, who has an unexpected connection to witches. As proven in DetroiterAnd the vice presidentAnd the The werewolves are insideAnd the the other sideCharming, lovable, and funny, Richardson manages to steal nearly every scene he’s in—especially impressive when faced with comedic heavyweights—though he does so without distracting from the comedic power of the Sanderson cast. In addition, Tony Hale appears in double roles and, like Richardson, captures the audience’s attention every second he appears on screen, eliciting laughter even when waiting in line alone for a coveted candy apple.
It is clear that everyone involved in the project loves the material and honors it with enthusiasm and originality, avoiding any sarcasm or sarcasm. For fans new and old alike, there’s a lot of joy and delight to glean from the experience from start to finish. However, the film’s whimsy can only take it so far that the film fails to deliver a story particularly worthy of telling.
Like the original movie, hocus pocus 2 It begins with flashbacks, featuring the Sanderson sisters when they become teenagers and are forced to abide by the rules of their society. While this scene may just be an opportunity to explain how they became interested in witchcraft in the first place, it also comes with an air of sympathy, hinting that they aren’t necessarily evil so much as a product of their community. Considering that the first movie opened with them draining the life force of an innocent little girl and cursing a boy for living a life inside a cat, this flashback steals Sanderson’s out of their outright, cartoonish evil. The sequence highlights the relationships between the sisters, which will become a theme in the rest of the story, but also complicates their nefarious motivations. It would seem a silly statement to claim that hocus pocus 2 He manages to discredit the witches’ legacy in a Disney movie, but that’s just one symptom of that movie’s deeper rot without knowing why it came into being.
The creators behind this sequel made it clear early on that they wanted to tell a story for a new generation rather than bring back the heroes from the original movie, and while Peak, Buckingham and Escobedo are all exhilarating and entertaining to watch, the narrative structure makes it feel almost like they’re in an entirely different movie. The movie seems more concerned with how Becca and Izzy get into a mysterious feud with Cassie than with friends trying to thwart the witches, distracting the audience with the source of tension between the three characters we barely know. Their story also includes hints about other supernatural elements at play, further complicating their narrative. This attempt to balance honoring the past while carving a new path forward is the film’s biggest failure.
The original film mainly contains two narrative stories: the heroes trying to stop the Sanderson sisters and the Sanderson sisters trying to capture the children. These paths occasionally overlap and we also saw some supporting characters appear sporadically, but the focus has been on these two narrative paths. Not only did the heroes try to stop the villains and villains trying to end their plan, but the teens also got around their friendship and the aforementioned downfall, the story also dedicates significant portions of time to Gilbert and Billy on his own adventure, as well as the character of Mayor Hill hoping to get His favorite candy. Plus, we still have to experience some of the Sanderson sisters’ out-of-water fish sequences that remind us of the same scenes we saw in the original movie when they figure out what life is like in 2022, from the dangling fruit. From voice-activated devices to a relatively clever sequence that features Roombas.
Even if audiences would be happy to see the Sanderson Sisters come to life with the original performers, along with fully enjoying the new additions to the set and watching the kooky and campy sequences, the actual inflammatory events of this sequel are bewildering. The original film ended with the annoyance that Sanderson’s Book of Spells would live after them, yet their resurrection in this adventure still revolves around the Black Flame Candle. The characters don’t feel like they have any unfinished business and instead feel we could have an endless number of adventures featuring their comeback, as long as each movie opens with someone lighting a black torch candle, so much so that it almost undermines the way the original movie’s conclusion is achieved. We’re left wondering who this movie is for, as fans of the original film will likely be excited to see the Sandersons return but are disappointed with the familiar jokes or less associated with new heroes, while new fans won’t be nearly as invested in seeing Sanderson again.
Still, with the original hocus pocus The script developed over the course of a decade before the film finally hit theaters, only to be plunged into oblivion upon official release. Everyone involved in honoring the concept came close to this sequel from Place of Love and it is a pleasure to see these characters earn the long-awaited praise. Midler, Parker, and Jimmy rejoice at their return, well deservedly, while the supporting characters give the villains a run for their money. While many audiences will be charmed by any adventure in which the Sanderson sisters appear, others will realize we’ve been given tricks disguised as candy.
Rating: 3 out of 5
hocus pocus 2 It premieres on Disney+ on September 30th.