Synopsis: Princess Samantha from the Kingdom of Illyria. Sam is rebellious and about as anti-establishment as they come. Furthermore, with her being a second-born Royal she doesn’t feel that she has a purpose. All is about to change as Sam must undergo extreme training to become a member of The Secret Society of Second Born Royals.
This movie focuses on Samantha, but it’s also about coming to terms with your destiny. You see Samantha is a Princess and second in line to the throne of Illyria. Samantha lacks direction in life. So chooses to rebel against her own Kingdom through her music. Helping her in her crusade is her best friend Mike. When Sam and Mike sneak out of the palace to attend a gig. Things go pear-shaped as Sam discovers her powers.
After a night in Prison. Mike and Sam are sent back home, but Samantha is packed off to Summer School, which turns out to be a cover story for her training to become a member of The Secret Society of Second Born Royals. This is an elite squad of Second Born Royalty who possess superpowers, which they use to protect their respective monarchies and the world from terrorist threats.
While at the School the Society teaches Samantha and her fellow recruits about how to channel and use their powers. When a terrorist attacks Samantha. The team, which the society has been training must pull together to avert disaster.
For a movie that is aimed at Pre – Teens. You don’t really expect to get great performances. But given that material, they have to work with. The actors do a respectable job of things.
Peyton Elizabeth Lee proves to be quite likable and easily relatable as Sam and watching her grow into becoming a member of the Society is made bearable by the fact that she manages to keep things from becoming a bit to much of a snore-fest given how formulaic the plot it. The chemistry between the other actors is believable and felt pretty truthful.
Skylar Astin plays somewhat of a dual role as the movie narrator as well as the kid’s instructor Professor James Morrow while Greg Bryk steals a fair few scenes as the mustache-twirling villain known as Inmate 34.
Secret Society of Second Born Royals just about passes muster as mildly entertaining, but a little too formulaic. Furthermore, the themes of royalty and superpowers have been covered before and its never particularly transferred well to the small screen. While it is an interesting and fun concept. I’m afraid Disney has missed the mark slightly on this one given that the superpowers on display really were not all that interesting and felt a bit half-assed. An example being Princess January’s power of being able to touch other second borns and take their power from them. She is basically a cheap knock off of Rogue from X-Men and not really made any more interesting by the fact that she turns out to be a villain, which was pretty much telegraphed from the start.
Overall. This film wasn’t all that brilliant and felt very much like a failed television pilot. It’s saving grace was that the cast was quite likable and did their best with what was a rather standard plot. The film does try to make a comment on Republicanism versus a Monarchie but fails to delve too deeply into the subject and chooses the safe black and white and somewhat bland good guys and bad guys approach.
My suggestion would be to save yourself two hours and watch Avengers: Endgame instead.
- CGI & Stunts7.5
- Incidental Music8.0