Review by Camden Ferrell
Rock Dog 2: Rock Around the Park is the sequel to 2016’s Rock Dog. This new movie employs a new director, writer, and a new cast. Unfortunately, this sequel is an exhaustingly unfunny and bland movie, more so than its predecessor.
This movie picks up one year after the events of the first movie. Bodi is still living on Snow Mountain, playing music with his band, and enjoying life. However, after an offer from an executive, they work with popstar Lil’ Foxy. Together, they go on a journey and learn about the realities of fame and staying true to yourself. This is a premise that’s not very original, but there are still movies that make the most out of a formulaic premise. Sadly, this is not one of those situations.
Alec Sokolow is a veteran screenwriter, even receiving an Oscar nomination for his work on Toy Story. However, the script for this movie is one of the most bland and unfunny screenplays to be produced in recent memory. It relies on terribly forced dialogue, trying its best to relate to young children despite being embarrassingly out of touch. The plot makes minimal sense, and it’s a narrative mess from start to finish.
One of the few commendable aspects of the first film was its cast. It had actors like Luke Wilson, J.K. Simmons, and Mae Whitman, but none of the original cast returns for the sequel. Even though I can’t fault new actors Graham Hamilton and Ashleigh Ball for the final product, their voice performances are bland and forgettable and did little to improve the movie.
Even though the first movie wasn’t good by any means, this new movie fails to even meet those low standards. While a smaller budget understandably creates difficulties when making a movie, some of the ways the sequel cuts corners are off putting. The animation is ridiculously bland, stiff, and cheap, and it makes the whole product feel insignificant. It’s the kind of style and writing that would only appeal to a subset of young children. It features painfully weak writing, bland animation, uninspired direction, and a story that is as predictable as it is messy.
Rock Dog 2: Rock Around the Park is a film that should be used as a last resort to entertain young children. It’s significantly worse than its already subpar predecessor, and it feels like there was minimal effort put into this project from all departments.
Rock Dog 2: Rock Around the Park is available on VOD on June 11 and on DVD June 15.