Thursday, May 30, 2013

Movie Review: Camp Rock 2 - The Final Jam

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fun music, enjoyable story
Cons: Average acting and choreography
The Bottom Line:
Story is better
It's good but forgettable
This is for the tweens

The Rock Increases in this Fun Sequel

Disney Channel and tween stars seem to go hand in hand these days, and Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam is the latest attempt to cash in on this market.  A made for TV movie that's a sequel to a made for TV movie, it takes up back to the title camp for a second summer of fun, music, and hard work.  Speaking of hard work, the writers obviously put some into this movie because the story actually holds together better than the first one.

Mitchie Torres (Demi Lovato) is excited to be going back to Camp Rock.  She's ready to have some fun, reconnect with her friends, and work on her music.  Oh yeah, and Shane Gray (Joe Jonas) is coming back again this year, so they just might be able to officially start their relationship.

But it isn't long before Mitchie and her friends figure out something is wrong.  There aren't as many people at camp this year.  Seems everyone is heading to Camp Star across the lake.  Camp Star is being run by Axel, a former band member of Camp Rock's founder Brown Cesario (Daniel Fathers).  The first night, Axel manages to steal several campers and most of the counselors from Camp Rock.

The only reason Camp Rock stays open is because Mitchie and the older campers agree to take on counselor duties.  But then Mitchie gets the idea of challenging Camp Star to a head to head musical showdown.  Can Camp Rock pull off a number to save the camp?

My big problem with the first movie was a story that seemed to gloss over the needed resolution.  While this movie doesn't have long drawn out moments, it does a much better job of showing us the resolution to the story so the happy ending doesn't feel forced.  And there are some great moments in the climax that are merely pictures.

I was also glad to see that the Jonas Brothers had a much bigger part in the movie.  Shane was originally written to be a solo character, and when Joe was cast, they wrote in parts for his brothers.  In the first movie, they didn't have much to do, here they are given sub-plots of their own.  While Kevin pretty much just got to be a goof ball as Jason, I enjoyed Nick's sub-plot as his character, Nate, developed a relationship with Dana (Chloe Bridges), Axel's daughter.  (And in case you are wondering, no, I don't know my Jonas Brothers.  I was actually taking notes during the movie so I could keep them all straight in my mind.)

In fact, Nick gets my favorite song in the film as he finally starts opening up to Dana by singing about himself to her.  It's a silly song that is guaranteed to make you smile.  There are quite a few new songs in the movie (it is a musical after all), and most of them are pretty good.  I wasn't a fan of the more hip hop oriented songs from Camp Star, and the song the entire cast sings as they are throwing down the challenge wasn't a favorite, but I did enjoy most of them.

The choreography, on the other hand, left something to be desired.  Maybe my age is showing here, but I actually found most of the moves to be laughable, most like they were trying to hard to be hip and cool when it really wasn't working.

The acting was just okay.  There aren't any amazing performances here, but the script doesn't call for anything too deep.  The cast does an adequate job of bring their characters to life and keeping us in the story, and that was all that really matters.

The intended tween audience will really enjoy Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam.  I found it fun, but I don't have a burning desire to see it again.

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