Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria)
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Looks pretty awful if you ask me. I'll rent it.
Welcome back, Disney. It's been way too damn long.
I don't want to talk to much about it, lest I spoil anything. Let's just say that it delivers everything you love about the Disney formula, while putting enough twists on it to keep it from being stale. Add to that a fantastic vocal cast (in particular, Keith David, playing the suavest villain since Jafar, and Jim Cummings, playing one of the most charming supporting roles of his career), a vibrant score by Randy Newman (even if it's not quite as diverse as what Alan Menken's churned out for the House of Mouse in the past), and some of the most polished traditional animation to have come out in years, and you've got yourself a film that has washed out the bad taste of Disney's recent failures, and reminded us of why we loved them in the first place.
If you love Disney for what they were, and not the tween-starlet pimps they've become, then this is the movie for you. Check it out. Bring a date. Enjoy.
Y'know those rabid fans devoted to this film's overhyped predecessor? The kind that know the entire movie backwards and forwards, and turned it into an "indie cult classic"? They're going to be suffering from a severe case of deja vu during the first half of this inferior sequel. Not only is there gratuitous use of stock footage throughout, but the "sequel" sandwiched in between the stock footage is the first movie in a new package. And this new package is full of bad dialogue and even worse acting. Julie Benz takes over for Willem Dafoe as the special agent tracking the MacManus Bros, and her unconvincing southern drawl starts to grate as badly as the rest of the first half. The same goes for Judd Nelson's godawful portrayal of the son of the movie's first antagonist.
Along the way, though, the movie starts to grow on you. An original plot starts to surface in the second half, and it gets a little more engaging when we start to get a little more insight into Il Duche, the MacManus patriarch that Billy Connolly was simply born to play. The second half isn't without it's faults, not gonna lie. Peter Fonda in particular turned out an uncharacteristically hammy performance in his small role. But to make up for those faults, it's got plenty of charms. The action scenes get cranked up to 11, the new annoying accomplice (he's Mexican this time, and a surprisingly Anglo Mexican at that) starts to become endearing, and the big twist at the ending actually drew honest to God applause from me.
Basically, if you liked the first one at all (even if, like me, you thought it wasn't worth the hype despite your enjoyment) go see the sequel.