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- Published on Amazon.com
In another review, someone referred to the first Alpha and Omega as a "surprise 'love it' movie." That's pretty much how I felt about it. I thought it would be too cheesy but it actually turned out to be pretty good, with developed characters that I genuinely liked, nice animation and overall an entertaining story.
Alpha and Omega 2, on the other hand, fails pretty miserably. It doesn't come close to living up to the expectations set by the first movie. The animation is bad. Even if you can overlook that, the story is clunky, uninteresting and at times doesn't make sense. Even the character's personalities have changed from the wolves that we loved in the first film.
Kate and Humprhey's pups were not nearly as endearing as they should have been (given how love-able their parents were in the first movie). They had no depth and just seemed like bland stereotypes that were, at times, slightly annoying.
Then there was the way the existing character's personalities changed. Humphrey was originally a humorous free spirit who loved to "sled ride". In this one he is suddenly reluctant to do all those crazy things because he's "old" now. Even though he still must rank among the younger wolves (seeing as Winston and Tony are still alive and the elders of the pack). All those funny omega things he used to do that the audience loved (and that seemed to make Kate love him) were suddenly not there anymore unless he was forced into it.
Eve, Kate's mother, was the hilariously homicidal mother-in-law in the first film. She was unpredictable, strong, edgy and prone to the occasionally bloody tirade. This made her unique and interesting. All that is gone in this film. She's basically part of the background. I realize that her voice actor changed in this one, but they still should have captured her original personality in the script. She was basically a non-character. She did nothing of note, said nothing interesting and almost seemed meek - which is exactly the opposite of what she was in the first movie.
Then there's the problems with the story. It seems to meander, making the plot feel watered down. You see some of the secondary wolves from the first film like Salty but you don't see the others (like the rest of Humphrey's omega group or Can-do, the alpha that was jumped). It would have been nice to at least see them somewhere in the background (unless they were there for a second and I just missed it - which is possible).
So for some reason, the wolves that were sent to steal Kate and Humphrey's pups could only snag the runt (who was about 20 feet up a tree) and not the other 2 who were on the ground. They were literally STANDING by them after the bear attack and just walked away? That makes no sense at all.
It also seems a bit weird that Humphrey and Kate ran into Paddy and Marcel a moment before they would need their help rescuing the pups, but I'll give them a pass there because it is a kid's movie so maybe that was the simplest way to re-introduce those characters. I think it would have made more sense to have Paddy and Marcel appear earlier, maybe for a visit (then tagging along when they look for the pups).
Speaking of Marcel and Paddy, some of their quips were painfully awkward as if they were forced into the dialogue in a failed attempt at adding more humor to the film. It worked in the first movie because it was smooth and sounded natural. Their lines bounced off of one another pretty well. That's not the case in the sequel.
And then there's Lily. I really liked Lily and Garth in the first movie. At first I didn't think I would, but the two of them together had this really nice dynamic. They balanced each other out in a really sweet way. Garth was confident, Lily was not. In this one, Lily seems to have changed enough to have gained a ton of confidence (even though she's still "hiding" behind her hair) to the point where she's participating in war planning and battles - something she never would have done in the first film. This could be attributed to her growing up and gaining confidence, but it seemed awkward considering her original personality and the fact that she's supposed to be an omega.
Also, why was Lily the only one who knew exactly what the enemy wolves were planning? I assume we're supposed to believe she came up with it all on her own but it seemed so weirdly detailed with nothing to guide her train of thought. I was expecting her to explain some situation or encounter that brought her to that conclusion, but it never happened. She can either see the future, is secretly the best alpha in the pack (since the war stuff is the alpha's territory) or is a really good guesser.
And what's the deal with Garth and Lily living in the tall grass? It was like some kind of inside joke that was never explained. They never showed any interest in the tall grass in the first movie, aside from bonding there a bit (but they also bonded on the rock, so not sure what the field has to do with it). Also why it was stressed that it was the "tall" grass specifically. I really felt like I was missing something. Honestly my first thought after Humphrey got drunk on fermented berries was that it was a marijuana reference (especially when they stressed how Garth & Lily were "free spirits") but I still don't see how even that angle makes sense.
So at the end of the movie, we have this fight between the rogue pack and the main characters, etc. I didn't really get the feeling that there was any kind of closure in this. What happened to King? It seems like the "bad" wolves just retreated, Princess left, and that's about it. You would think maybe Princess would have joined the "good" guys since her character seemed to be going in that direction from the moment she was introduced, but no. She just disappears into the forest.
And what's to stop King from rallying the rogue wolves and going in for another attack? It sure seemed like something Winston, Tony, Kate and the other alphas should be seriously concerned about considering that they were far outnumbered and only survived with the help of the bears. The sequence consisted of some random fight scenes then a drawn out "haha we're so happy we won". scene.
It also seemed strange to me that Kate and Humphrey got lost on their way back with the pups. They had been in the area before in the first movie (being so close to the little truck stop). You would also think they could have howled to the other wolves to get their bearings. I guess it was one last opportunity for Runt to use his bizarre tree climbing skills.
Finally, we end with the guy who owns the little shop/diner whatever it is, leaving the door open as he goes home to see his family (or so we assume, based on the picture). This seems like a weird move considering Humphrey and Kate were shot at last time they were there. And even if you consider it a "Spirit of Christmas" kind of thing, you would think he wouldn't just let wild wolves into his establishment. It would be more logical to leave a few bowls outside.
And, all that aside, the film just ends with Kate, Humphrey & the pups on the floor in the building. I guess it made for some festive shots with a decorated Christmas tree. There's some reference to being home (aka together as a family) but when you think about it - they aren't really together. What about the rest of the pack? Their parents, siblings, friends, etc.? I guess it's just assumed the rest of the wolves got together and had warm fuzzy feelings with the assumption that Kate, Humphrey and the pups (who at that time would kind of be MIA) are doing just fine. The whole time I watched this scene, I was thinking "this can't be where they end it.." but it was.
Just as a side note, what holiday were the wolves celebrating exactly? I don't recall them actually saying Christmas (or any specific holiday for that matter). It was just "the holidays" or "holiday". I mean they're wolves so we can't expect them to have human customs but even so, you would think they would be more specific. This is a minor issue but one that seemed to go along with the unremarkable story. They didn't even want to commit to a specific holiday and couldn't be bothered to come up with a made up holiday for the wolves to add more flavor to the movie.
If you want Alpha and Omega without the character development, interesting and coherent story, nice animation, closure and with a VERY light seasonal veneer, then you might like the sequel. Otherwise just re-watch the first one, you'll enjoy it more.