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TV Review: Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam – A Sweet Treat for All

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I have heard this being called the Summer of Sequels by various TV and radio entertainment people, and it is true that many films came out that fit into that category: Toy Story 3, Sex and the City 2, Iron Man 2, Predators, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, and Shrek Forever After. While these were all seen in movie theaters, the sequel that had the most buzz (at least in my family) was Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. After watching it on Disney Channel last night with my daughter, I can say it was worth the wait indeed!

The cast is led by the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato as it was last time, but this time there is a new romance, plenty of new tunes, and a challenge from another camp that spice up the story. It seems the Jo Bros and Demi are more than up for the challenge, with Demi as the once shy Mitchie Torres shining brightly again, and Joe Jonas as Shane Gray coming through with a strong performance.

In the first film the conflict was Mitchie hiding her true identity as daughter of Connie, the camp cook (Maria Canals-Barrera). This time a decidedly more confident and popular Mitchie returns to enthusiastic greetings from former friends. She also does not have to win Shane’s affection; rather, he is trying to make this a special summer for them as a couple, but other conflicts await to throw a monkey wrench into the works.

This year there is a new rival for Mitchie and company: Camp Star. Since this camp has challenged Camp Rock to a musical smack down, Mitchie becomes so all consumed in preparing for the event that she doesn’t make time for Shane. Meanwhile, Nate (Nick Jonas) falls for Dana (Chloe Bridges), a girl from the rival camp setting up a Romeo and Juliet type of scenario, with Nate even wooing her with guitar – but she forgoes the balcony scene and stands right in front of him.

I know my daughter liked this movie better than the first film, and probably more than any other reason it is because the Jo Bros are front and center in this one (in the first film Nick and Kevin were merely window dressing). Also, little brother Frankie even gets into the act here as a camper, so it is more Jonas Brothers all the way.

Camp Rock 2 does all things the right – and obviously the Disney – way, and that means that its got the target audience right where it wants them. Kids like my daughter and all the other tweens out there get to see Nate pine longingly for the girl, Shane and Mitchie disagree about things (and yet we know they’re never going to break up) and even former bad girl Tess Tyler (Meaghan Martin) reverts to the dark side, but the kids know that all will be right again in the end by the final number.

The final showdown pits Camp Rock against Camp Star in a televised competition that allows audience members to text in their votes for the winners. There are two huge showstoppers that seem like the Opening Ceremony to the Olympic Games more than anything else, but that follows the tradition of High School Musical 2 where more – much, much more – seems like a compromise and even less than as good as in the original.

That small nit aside, Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam is sure to be a hit with kids and their parents. I know my daughter plans to watch it again tonight – Disney inevitably broadcasts its original movies for three nights in a row on the premiere weekend – and no doubt many other kids will follow suit. Parents should also prepare to acquire the soundtrack – or wait for Christmas because I have been already warned that it will be on Santa’s list this year. The songs are all energetic with easy to remember lyrics. By the end of the show, my daughter was singing along like she had heard them all before – and she had when she saw the Jonas Brothers live this summer. Is that shrewd marketing or what?

One thing to note is that the ending makes it clear that there is almost definitely going to be a Camp Rock 3, so the only question is will Disney take the same path it did with High School Musical 3 and release it in theaters first? Otherwise, we can rest assured that the Demi and the Jo Bros will be back for more camping and rocking and jamming. Who could ask for anything more?

 

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About Victor Lana

Victor Lana has published numerous stories, articles, and poems in literary magazines and online. His books In a Dark Time (1994), A Death in Prague (2002), Move (2003), The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories (2005) and Like a Passing Shadow (2009) are available online and as e-books. He has won the National Arts Club Award for Poetry, but has concentrated mostly on fiction and non-fiction prose in recent years. He has worked as faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with Blogcritics since July 2005, has edited many articles, was co-head sports editor with Charley Doherty, and now is a Culture and Society editor. He views Blogcritics as one of most exciting, fresh, and meaningful opportunities in his writing life.
  • Jane

    I liked it because of Demi… And I think Nick is the best actor out of all the brothers (and Farnkie! LOL)

  • Mike

    Overall I did not like CR2. The movie tried to be too much for to many. It wanted to be a love story, it wanted to be a musical, it wanted to be cute, it wanted to be something, but fell short on all levels. Some of the songs were alright but the music did not fit together. Hip hop, lame, rap, didn’t fit, all in all it just fell flat on its face. A waste of time for the talent that was present.

  • Justine

    This movie was disappointing. Although the actors did well, the movie was horrible. It centered around “winning is everything.”It wasn’t very enjoyable to watch, either.

  • Alli

    That was the point of the movie though is that she center everything on winning when everyone else just had a good time. I thought it was a great movie! and am looking forward to the 3rd.

  • alex

    Lame!!!!!!!!
    same story line to HSM2, guy and girl working together, one gets too into work and not into the other persnon, they sing song about what they feel about one another, one gets reality check, they sing a number and are happy again. Like i said, LAME!!!

  • caleb

    this movie sucked. It had bad songs, bad music, bad dancing, and a relly bad story.

  • Susan

    Extremely disappointing ! The best part of the movie is Demi only if you remove her then there is nothing else left to watch. The producer and directer are to be blamed for this horrible production.

  • jenna

    okay are you freaking kidding that was the most retarded movie on earth! only demi was good but that girl that nick was into all i have to say is EW!!!! ahhh nick is too good for her dont watch this sucky movie!!!!

  • Sya

    I just didnt like it. It didnt wow me at all. some of the songs were ok, but the first one seemed a lot more real.

  • adam

    i liked it but the music wasn’t as organic as the first movie and thats what separated the first Camp Rock from the HSM series. In the first film they sang when they had a reason and didn’t just break into a musical number every other scene.

  • Miri

    The story was not that good but the dancing was great! It was very precise and had lots of Michael Jackson’s moves. I think it was a great tribute to him. I liked it.

  • Miri

    YES, I LOVED THE DANCE WITH MICHAEL’S MOVES, BUT I MISSED HIS VOICE!!!

  • Charlie

    There must be something wrong here because this movie was great. Not movie of the year but really enjoyable and the music was awesome and so was the dancing.

  • http://viclana.blogspot.com/ Victor Lana

    We have some tough critics here, Charlie, but I think that’s not unusual. Overall, this movie hit a homer with its target demographic audience (tweens), and that is all that matters. Some of us adults enjoyed it too.

  • Cealix

    I haven’t even watched this crap yet and I can already feel my body falling apart due to lack of enjoyment and my inner anger rising similar the temperature of a teapot. My past-teen gf (22) seems to believe this movie will be oh-so amazing enough for us to enjoy while cuddling during the evening times. Based on the reviews here, I can say I’m in for another raging night.

  • Charles

    This movie was just a piece of crap held together by the random songs all over the place. Disney should seriously consider a better story next time. I have to compare this movie to ALL High School Musicals, that includes the one in Argentina. I was disappointed.

  • Anonymous

    The first one was better than this…The second one’s music is just destroyed with Auto Tune galore. It just doesn’t have the same feeling as the first one, not even relatively close. If they want music that’s enjoyable, don’t make it so obviously edited. It’s terrible.

  • Aeleya Haider

    The movie camp rock 2 is awesome and fantastic as well. the songs are superb especially its on and cant back down! thats just waaowwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!! keep it up camp rock team! bye

  • sTEFFY

    hello Does anyone which is real video of it’s on?because my friend says that there is really other video