If you have already seen the original Teen Beach Movie, you’ll probably already guess the overall direction of the sequel. Teen Beach 2 brings back stars Maia Mitchell (The Fosters) and Ross Lynch (Austin & Ally) as they reprise their roles as the overachieving McKenzie (Mack) and the more laid-back surfer Brady. The movie picks up 3 months after the couple return from their summer experience having nearly been stuck forever in the 1960’s beach musical movie “Wet Side Story.”
The couple find that they immediately have to overcome some obstacles as they return to their normal lives. School takes a center stage as Mack has decided to stay in the beachfront community rather than attending a private school in the east. We don’t really know much about what’s happened over the three summer months, but the couple appears to have grown closer and likely spent much of their time having fun and surfing. As they return to school, Mack focuses her attention squarely on her studies while Brady has a much more laid-back approach to his future.
Mack and Brady aren’t the only characters that are growing and trying to figure out their future. Lela (Grace Phipps) and Tanner (Garrett Clayton), the Annette Funicello-Frankie Avalon like characters from the “Wet Side Story” movie, are going through the motions in the movie that they are replaying over and over. Lela is particularly bored and frustrated, having now experienced what life could be like and wanting to make her own way, and decides that her limited movie role is not enough. She wishes for a more fulfilling life, and thanks to a magic necklace, she’s given her wish. Instead of Mack and Brady being magically transported to “Wet Side Story,” Lela and Tanner come to the present day world where they immediately experience modern concepts like selfies and cell phones.
Tanner seems to enjoy some of the things he’s experiencing, but it’s really Lela’s story that takes center stage in this movie. She’s growing comfortable with the new experiences quickly — she even happens to love Calculus. She clearly loves everything that the modern world offers, but it doesn’t take long for things to begin to unravel as it seems time travel comes with a price. Like Mack and Brady in the first film, Lela and Tanner begin to lose their 1960’s character attributes. At the same time, things begin to go wrong on the set of “Wet Side Story” for the cast that remained in the movie. Without Tanner and Lela as part of the cast, some of the extras from the movie begin to randomly disappear from existence. As such, Lela and Tanner find themselves much like Mack and Brady in the original: unless they returns to the ’60s, the film will disappear altogether. As a related consequence to the film being lost forever, Mack and Brady won’t remember their history together and may never even meet.
I’m not going to spoil the ending for you, you’ll have to see it for yourself. Suffice it to say, it’s a good watch, and like the original Teen Beach Movie, the sequel has a great soundtrack and a number of amazing dance numbers. The DVD includes a bonus called, “Exclusive: Cast Dance Rehearsals,” which details the cast as they learn the dance numbers choreographed by Christopher Scott. If you enjoy the movie, I’m sure you’ll really love this feature of the DVD as well. I fully enjoyed the original and the sequel as they both have a great message of following your dreams. As good as the first two films have been, I’m wondering when we’ll see Teen Beach 3.
Director: Jeffrey Hornaday (“Teen Beach Movie,” TV Movie “Geek Charming,” Carlito’s Way)
Writers: Teleplay by Billy Eddy, Matt Eddy and Story by Dan Berendsen, Robert Horn
Cast: Ross Lynch (Muppets Most Wanted, Disney Channel’s “Austin & Ally”) as Brady; Maia Mitchell (ABC Family’s “The Fosters”) as Mack;; Grace Phipps (Fright Night, TV’s “The Nine Lives of Chloe King”) as Lela; Garrett Clayton (ABC Family’s “The Fosters,” Disney Channel’s “Shake It Up”) as Tanner.
Choreography: Christopher Scott (TV’s “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing With The Stars,” Step Up franchise)
Release Date: June 26, 2015 (Distributor Pre-Book: 5/15; Direct Pre-Book: 5/1)
Release Formats: DVD
Bonus Features: Exclusive: Cast Dance Rehearsals – Exciting new contemporary and retro music with dance numbers choreographed by Christopher Scott. Join Ross Lynch, Maia Mitchell and the rest of cast as they learn some of the crazy steps for the movie. See how they put the moves into the songs Best Summer Ever, Gotta Be Me, Falling For Ya, and That’s How We Do.
Ratings: TV-G (US); G (Canada)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen (Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions)
Audio: 2.0 Dolby Digital
Languages: English, French & Spanish
Disclosure: We received a complimentary copy of this movie. All opinions are our own.