Hey, friends! I finally watched Descendants 3 and I have thoughts! When I wrote my first Descendants review, I had no intention of reviewing the other two movies. But when I was pleasantly surprised by the sequel, I had to find out how it all ended. Descendants 3 was an enjoyable ride from beginning to end so I’m excited to share my thoughts.
Note: Please read with caution because there will be spoilers for the movie in this review!
The third and final movie in the Descendants film trilogy follows Mal, Evie, Jay and Carlos as they go against yet another dark force that threatens Auradon. But this time, the dark force comes from a new, unfathomable source. After really enjoying Descendants 2, I had high hopes for this third film. Thankfully, I was not let down! This final movie delivered in all the right ways. The opening song of the movie, “Good to Be Bad,” is one of the strongest openers across all three films. Not only are each of the main four equally highlighted, but we also see the results of the good they’ve done back on the Isle. The openers in the first two films are focused on them being evil, so it was fun to change it up right at the beginning. All of the songs in this film were really good. Each song moved the plot along and a lot of the performances were really fun to watch. We also finally got to see some big dance numbers that I throughly enjoyed (which is what I expected from the first film). It’s hard to choose a favorite!
Descendants 3 also had significantly less awkward and cringe moments. The writing isn’t perfect, but there has obviously been some needed development done to the script (or maybe I just got used to it after watching three films). I think the acting was commendable in this one, too. Dove Cameron gave us some great emotion as Mal, and each of the other three also had significant character agency. I’d have to say that Evie is my favorite, so I love the role she played as a mediator in this one. She’s super level-headed and finally got her own solo song! The theme of friendship (established in Descendants 2) is tested in this third film, and not only among our main four. I also liked seeing more of the other villain kids. Considering the fact that Mal, Evie, Jay and Carlos no longer represent the Isle, it made sense to give us some fresh faces of those that do.
The weakest part of Descendants 3 was the new villain. The daughter of Sleeping Beauty, Audrey, becomes our new, unsuspecting villain, and I just didn’t buy it. Audrey wasn’t in the second film, so her addition in this third one felt out of place. Essentially, Audrey’s villain origin story is her wanting to seek revenge when Mal is engaged to become the next queen of Auradon. She steals Maleficent’s staff and the crown and begins casting spells across the land. Considering the fact that Audrey was so anti-villain when we first met her, it just didn’t make sense that she would use Maleficent’s evil magic to become a villain and wreak on Auradon. She hates villains but she becomes one herself? It also didn’t help that most of the cringe acting in this film stemmed from her. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes every time we watched one of her scenes. The ending of the film tried to explain it all with the message that “we are all capable of both bad and good,” but I just didn’t think that Audrey as the villain was the best pick. She was annoying at best, but not nearly cunning enough to cause so much damage. It also bothered me a bit that she received no punishment whatsoever.
I did like the introduction of Hades as Mal’s father. I totally did not see that one coming! I had always wondered why the villain kids only had one parent, so I appreciated the way that they explored that relationship. The beginning of the film makes you think that Hades will be the main villain, so I’m glad they didn’t take that predictable approach. It also seems like Mal’s hair gets increasingly more blue as the movie goes on…Maybe it’s a possible tie to her father?
I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed the Descendants trilogy. I’ll definitely give them all a re-watch, and I’ve already downloaded some of the songs. Watching and reviewing these movies has shown me that new-age Disney Channel isn’t as bad as people my age make it out to be. It’s different for sure, and it takes some getting used to. But once you find something in it that you enjoy, it’s hard to stop watching.