Secret Society of Second-Born Royals is one of the newest original films that have come out of Disney+. I wanted to watch this when it first came out, since I always like checking out what else Disney+ has in store, but because I was so busy, I never got around to it until now. Same with the other Disney+ movie, Clouds. I’ll get to that soon enough, too. It’s time to talk about a world of superhero princesses. The real question is if it’s any good or if you’ll rue the day you have to watch this movie. Let’s get crackin!
This review is brought to you by the word of the day: Rue.
To feel penitence, remorse, or regret for.
Secret Society of Second-Born Royals follows around Sam, a second-born royal who lives in the shadow of her sister, a first-born princess, and destined ruler of her country. As it so happens, though, second-born royals have a special gene in their blood that gives them superpowers, so Sam and a number of other second-born royals her age are initiated in a secret, hidden society that is tasked with saving the world. This time, they must protect the world from an escaped convict that mysteriously has telekinetic powers.
This film feels right up Disney’s alley, at least in concept. I mean, you got princesses and superheroes. What more could you ask for? Truthfully, I feel like the film’s concept is better than the movie, which feels really juvenile versus what it could have felt like with just a little bit of tweaking. It’s an interesting movie in general, and for what it is, it’s nothing horrible, but I feel like my review on it is going to be relatively short because I don’t really have that much to say about it. I think, for the most part, the word that comes to mind with this one is “safe”. It doesn’t take a ton of risks, nor does it really strive to do anything different. It’s basically a mashup of ideas we’ve seen before, and it wasn’t even the best or most believable variation of these things.
On the princess side of things, this movie is already all over the place. I can’t get a handle on the setting, which I’m sure is fictional, but listen to these people talk. Some people are British, others have American accents, even within the same family, and it’s never explained why the queen has a British accent while her daughters have American accents. If it did explain it, the exposition part of the movie did a poor job, because this inconsistency travels beyond the main royal family. It shows up in others, too, and I just don’t get it. Where does this take place? I also had a hard time believing any of these characters were actually royalty. Even the queen herself just seems to be a stern business lady at best. I don’t recall seeing any castle or palace, and if they lived in one, the internal shots of their home just looks like a normal person’s house. Part of Disney magic is making those palaces that princesses live in stand out as immaculate and a place all these kids would want to grow up to live in, too. I just had a terribly difficult time believing these second-born royals were princes and princesses.
On the superhero side of things, I think that’s where the film draws a little bit more of its uniqueness, but not by much. It’s a toss-up as if their powers are going to be unique or not, but thankfully, the film actually draws most of its strength by creating teamwork among these kids, and they actually have decent chemistry together. They seem like they’re having a good time. So, when you combine that with their diverse assortment of superpowers that they use to help each other save the world, it works. It’s nothing that’s wholly original or better than, say, The Avengers, but it is the best part of the movie and it’s much more appropriate than a lot of the stuff you see in bigger movies, like what the MCU does, especially for younger kids. That may be a selling point for you, it might not be, but as a parent, I get the appeal.
In general, I’m not sure what I expected to find out of this movie, but what I got was…fine. Again, it isn’t a bad movie, but personally, I found myself to be a bit bored watching because I wasn’t in the target audience. I couldn’t connect with these characters or their intrinsic issues they’re all dealing with. It’s all a bunch of malarkey for me. But let’s go ahead and break down my final score for a second. From a technical, unbiased perspective, I can’t just sit here and say they did a bad job They did what they sought out to do, so that’s good. Even some of the CGI is approached better than where Disney+ started out with. My only technical issue came down to the inconsistencies with the accents these characters had, but at the end of the day, it’s a minor gripe that doesn’t negatively affect my score that much. My unbiased score is 68% but here’s where things get a little murky. Like I said, I was bored with the movie in general, couldn’t get into it, thought it needed a little tweaking before it could be considered decent. My personal biased score is 54%, averaging everything out to the final rating of 61%, 61 out of 100 possible stars, or a D letter grade.
I don’t know what it is about Disney Plus, but I can’t really find an original movie in their roster that I love. There’s been a couple here and there that I had a fun time with, but each one of these movies are rated significantly lower than a ton of other movies I see in the year. I’d say it’s on par with Netflix originals in that both streaming services often underwhelm me with their assortment of original movies but their original TV shows are pretty decent.
Guys, let me know your thoughts on Secret Society of Second-Born Royals in the comments section down below, especially if you’re a parent, what did you think of this movie? And as always, until next time…