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Secret Society of Second-Born Royals: Film Review – Royally Ignorable

By Delnaz Divecha 25 September, 2020 2 min read
Secret Society of Second-Born Royals: Film Review – Royally Ignorable
Ideal for OTT viewing
30%Overall Score

Streaming now on Hotstar 

After The New Mutants, Disney is back with another teen superhero movie. While Secret Society of Second-Born Royals does not fall under a franchise (yet), it is touted to be almost as marvelous as any other superhero film. The movie revolves around Sam (Peyton Elizabeth Lee), sister to Eleanor (Ashley Liao) who is set to be coronated as Queen to the European kingdom of Illyria. Several cliched plotlines are built around this premise. Sam is  the rebellious teen who opposes monarchy. She gets into trouble regularly with her friend Mike (Noah Lomax), much to the disapproval of her mother, Queen regent Catherine (Élodie Yung). As a punishment, she is sent off to summer school that Sam comes to realize is a cover for her training as a member of a secret society. Professor James Morrow (Skylar Astin) trains her along with four other second-born royal teens to harness their superpowers and use them to protect the kingdom from criminals.

Less action, more drama 

For a superhero film, Secret Society of Second-Born Royals is not packed with the kind of action you’d expect. A lot of the training montage has been cut short and the main fight scenes with the villain are rushed through. Instead, the film relies heavily on building the background of the story and its lead character. Ultimately, it becomes all about Sam’s journey and very little focus is given to any of the other characters.

Sam is not the hero we need 

While Sam is shown to be a rebellious teen who opposes monarchy, the film does not do a fair job of establishing her as an advocate of democracy. Instead, she is portrayed as a sort of child who does not understand politics and cannot be taken seriously. The colored hair and emo fashion sense are just complementary to her condescending personality. Comparatively, the other members of the secret society seem far more mature and worthy of leading the troupe. Even Roxana who is constantly living her life online has shown more empathy than Sam, who is simply mean-spirited.

Overall, an underwhelming narrative and characters 

The weak screenplay and shoddy editing ultimately does no justice to the characters or the story. The actors do not get the chance to perform in a way that’s memorable and the whole film falls flat. For a movie in its genre, Secret Society of Second-Born Royals is a huge let-down.

Secret Society of Second-Born Royals may not be the superhero movie we deserved this year but it’s a decent background watch for the times you’re doing something else. The teens possess some really cool superpowers, which work brilliantly together. Watch it without many expectations and the film will entertain you with its quick action and dry humor.

Director: Anna Mastro
Writer: Alex Livak, Andrew Green, Austin Winsberg
Cast: Peyton Elizabeth Lee, Skylar Astin, Élodie Yung
Language: English
Streaming on: Hotstar

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Tags: ##Streaming#Action#Disney#Drama#english#English Reviews#Hotstar#sci-fi#Secret Society of Second-Born Royals#Skylar Astin#superhero
Written by
Delnaz Divecha
Writer. Editor. Critic.
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