Making the Grades
The Ducks are back for the second period in this Disney sequel that spawned a parade of tee-shirts, lunch boxes, and of course, Anaheim's NHL hockey team of the same ducky name. In this episode, coach Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez) has just missed his NHL chance after injuring his knee. Returning to his home town, the lame Bombay soon is approached by a sports equipment promoter that wants him to coach the USA team in the Junior Goodwill Games.
Compared to the first Ducks movie, the language in D2 fares better, although the quality of the story is just as poor, if not worse. Again, the incredibly predictable sports plot is pulled out with the underdog-wins-in-the-end finish. You may want to consider questioning with your children the possibility of a team like the Ducks always winning. Often in movies, hard work and determination only takes a moment, yet the victory is the focus of many minutes.
Considering these are the Goodwill Games, the Iceland team looks like a group of ex-Mafia goons. The players are all a foot taller than anyone else, and none of them appear to have a brain in their head. The USA team does a good deal of flag waving (as does the script), and at times hockey takes a second seat to patriotism. Incidentally, the only mention of a Canadian team is in the age-old spinning newspaper shot where the headline tells us the Canadians have come and gone in a flash.
D2, even more than the first Ducks movie, is really made for kids. The violence has a teenage slapstick slant, but in the end the Ducks try to use brains to overcome brawn. Through the eyes of a parent, D2 is probably dumb but harmless. Through the eyes of a 12-year-old, it could be hilarious.