Teen Beach 2 premiered a few days ago on the Disney Channel and DVD, and we received a copy to review just after we interviewed actor Chrissie Fit about her role as Cheechee (the interview will be up shortly and linked). Before the interview, I had watched Teen Beach Movie for the first time – it was completely off my radar a couple of years ago, even though friends recommended it to me. I didn’t think I was the right demographic to watch or review it. I was pleasantly suprised how much I enjoyed Teen Beach Movie, but even moreso Teen Beach 2.
Teen Beach 2 begins at the end of the same summer that Teen Beach Movie left off. If you’ve not seen the original Teen Beach Movie, you will want to before viewing Teen Beach 2. In Teen Beach Movie, Brady (Ross Lynch) and Mack (Maia Mitchell) end up ensconced in the world of “Wet Side Story”, Brady’s favorite film. They make friends with the fictional film characters (bikers and surfers) before finding their way back home. In Teen Beach 2, the tables are reversed. It has been three months since Mack and Brady met in Dolphin’s Cove, and they celebrate their “meetiversary” on the beach. Brady asks Mack whether things will be difference once they go back to school, as they haven’t known each other in that setting. Mack says yes, but discovers her necklace – the one momento she has from “Wet Side Story” – is gone. The necklace ends up back in the “Wet Side Story” setting, with Lela (Grace Phipps) finding it.
Back in the real world, friends of Brady and Mack are suprised that the two have paired up. I’m not sure why the friends have been out of contact all summer, what with cell phones and computers allowing for easy communication even in the summer months, but that is the storyline so we’ll roll with it. Brady and Mack realize they are very different, with Brady being extremely laid back and not knowing what his life goals are, and Mack wanting to focus on college planning, her studies, and saving the beach. Eventually they get into an argument, and Brady tells Mack he’ll see her next summer, “which is apparently the next time you’re free”.
Lela misses Mack, saying “I need to be where she is”. Soon, Lela and Tanner arrive to current day, leaving their movie behind. And it turns out, musical numbers aren’t just for movies that are within other movies. Lela and Tanner had never realized before that they were fictional characters in a film, and Lela especially doesn’t appreciate having words written for her. She doesn’t want to be in the background anymore. And Tanner? He is just enjoying looking at himself with the reverse camera image in the phone. Eventually Tanner does get (temporarily) serious and lets Brady know that he’s worried that Lela wanted to go to this new place because he wasn’t enough for her anymore. That isn’t true, but it is true that she wants more out of life. Mack and Lela are very much cut from the same cloth in the film, with is one of female empowerment – not sitting on the sidelines.
I like the whole soundtrack, from the gym dance anthem “Gotta Be Me” (which is my favorite number in the film) to “Best Summer Ever”. And I can’t say much about the ending without giving away what happens. Suffice to say, Lela finds her place in life, as do the other characters. And Chrissie Fit, who plays Cheechee in the film, has a fun song, “Falling for You” with Jordan Fisher (Seacat).
Teen Beach 2 is a terrific film for family viewing, and you’ll likely find yourself singing on of the many catchy songs from it after the film is over.
Teen Beach 2 is rated TV-G, and there is one bonus feature on the disc titled “Exclusive: Cast Dance Rehearsals”. It is worth the few minutes to watch. The cast spent a lot of time getting prepared for the film! And a bonus necklace is inside the DVD.
Mousesteps rating for Teen Beach 2: B
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