When you watch one you gotta watch em all- once my sister and I had watched the original movie, I knew we had opened Pandora’s Box. Within a few days we were back at again with the sequel. Thankfully, Kenny Ortega takes all the elements that were enjoyable from the first movie and amps them up to the next level. The musical moments are shot better, each of the “Cheetahs” is given more to do, and there’s a more coherent plot which gives the movie more of a punch.
The plot follows the Cheetah Girls 3 years after the events of the first movie. The girls crash Chanel(Adrienne Bailon’s) mothers romantic getaway to Barcelona in an attempt to win a music festival competition. After promising to do their best, the girls embark on their new journey. Each of the characters feels more defined- everyone from Galleria (Raven-Symone) to Aqua(Kiely Williams) gets their own storyline – no matter how on the wayside it feels. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the overall character arc the group goes through. The “Cheetahs” feel fairly similar to their previous incarnation in the last movie except Galleria is less bossy. I wish I saw some growth between the girls proper but everything related to the same feels tacked on or hammy.
Like the last movie- the songs are the best part. Thankfully, they’re shot well and aren’t jumbled and messy like the last movie. I could feel myself actually singing along (as corny as the lyrics were), but this time I could actually look at the screen without being forced to dart my eyes around needlessly.
While the plot makes far more sense than the last movie – it’s still Disney TV movie which means there’s more than one moment that will make you scratch your head. This problem becomes even more prevalent in the 3rd act when everyone acts a lot less intelligent than they really are. There are also some rushed moments and I feel like a more developed 3rd act could’ve given the last musical number more depth.
TLDR: The Cheetah Girls 2 is fun and filled with bops to nod your head along to. The plot and characterization leaves a lot to be desired, but it’s a jam packed adventure the whole way through.
Final Rating: 6.0/10. The Cheetah Girls 2 brings in all the stuff you loved from the last movie with a more cohesive story and better shot musical moments. If you didn’t like the first one, chances are good you won’t find anything here either.