SECRET SOCIETY OF SECOND-BORN ROYALS – Film Review

A rebellious princess is stunned to learn that she has superpowers and belongs to a secret society with a longstanding tradition of covertly keeping the peace throughout the kingdom.

You would think that a brand new Disney+ movie would have a fairly extensive marketing campaign before release, but strangely enough, Secret Society of Second-Born Royals didn’t really have any sort of hype leading up to its release day. As a matter of fact, I had no idea this film even existed until this morning when I was searching up new releases for this Friday and I saw this movie on the list.

So I went on over to my Disney+ account and started watching the film and was worried right off the bat with the strange atmosphere and style the movie was going for. I understand that this is a Disney production, but why did Secret Society of Second-Born Royals have to feel so much like a low-budget and edgier episode of something like iCarly? Virtually everything about the film feels so uninspired and as if there was no effort put into it.

This could have been quite a fun little story for families to watch, but I am quite sure that if you put this on during a family movie night, not even your children would be entertained. It could’ve been a junior Kingsman story or something of the sort because surprisingly enough there are some similarities to Kingsman here, but instead, we are cursed with an angsty teen drama that has absolutely no thrills up its sleeves.

I get that this is a children’s film and therefore there can’t really be anything too crazy happening on screen or else it would get a PG-13 rating, but I’m not exaggerating when I say that about eighty-percent of the movie is just the lead characters talking amongst one another and getting into small arguments and disagreements along the way.

Courtesy of Disney+

For a movie that is supposed to be centered around a secret spy agency for kids, it’s extraordinarily bland and it almost never puts this society in the focus. To be completely honest with you, there were some moments throughout where I was genuinely confused as to what I was watching because it was all so confusing and pointless. It seemed as though the screenwriters Alex Litvak and Andrew Green came up with an idea to make a story of children who are inducted into a top-secret organization but completely ran out of ideas after the first act.

Not just that but the visual effects are also incredibly noticeable and weak. Gratefully, the film doesn’t use visual effects too often but when they are put to use on-screen, they look like something you would perhaps see in an early 2000s film, but certainly not one released in 2020.

The only thing that I genuinely didn’t mind when it comes to Secret Society of Second-Born Royals were some of the performances, namely Peyton Elizabeth Lee who portrays lead protagonist Sam. She does a fairly good job of delivering a fun and charming performance of a young girl with big ambitions. She doesn’t reach extreme highs but she manages to pull off an energetic-enough performance to keep viewers captivated.

I just wish I could say that the movie as a whole was captivating, but it just simply isn’t. It’s an extremely boring angsty teen drama with almost nothing exciting or fresh to offer. It plays out like a million other movies you’ve seen before. Ones that were executed much better.

Secret Society of Second-Born Royals fails to deliver a charming and fun story and instead plays out like an angsty teen drama with poor visual effects, even if some of the performances are decent.

Overall Grade: D

MPAA Rating: N/A

Cast: Peyton Elizabeth Lee, Skylar Astin, Élodie Yung, Niles Fitch, Ashley Liao, Noah Lomax, Faly Rakotohavana, Isabella Blake-Thomas, Olivia Deeble, Greg Bryk

Directed by: Anna Mastro

Distributed by: Disney+

Release Date: September 25, 2020

Running Time: 97 minutes

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