tek's rating: ½

Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2, on Disney Channel
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Caution: spoilers.

This is the sequel to Z-O-M-B-I-E-S. It first aired in February 2020, but I didn't get to see it until October 2020, on Disney+. Once again there's a sort of animated opening with narration about werewolves being fought off by the settlers of Seabrook, long ago, and the settlers taking a giant gem from them, to power the very plant which would later cause people to turn into zombies. In the present, a bus accident leads to the werewolves who live in the forbidden forest coming into town looking for a prophesied "Great Alpha." One werewolf, Wyatt, believes that to be Addison, because of her white hair. Though the leader of the pack, Willa, doesn't like the idea of going among humans, she eventually agrees that the pack can join Seabrook High School. (We never see any elder werewolves, because they're all sick.) The werewolves need the Great Alpha, to lead them to the moonstone that was taken from them long ago. They all wear much smaller moonstones as amulets that not only provide them with their werewolf powers (so they're like the opposite of Z-bands), but also keep them alive. But the amulets are losing their power, so unless they can recharge them with the main moonstone, they'll all die. So... this movie definitely has higher stakes than the first one.

Meanwhile, Bucky and Zed run against each other for school president, and if Bucky wins, he won't be able to continue as cheer captain. So Addison tries out for that position, and soon gets it (at least pending the results of the election). Also, Addison and Zed hope to go to "Prawn" (the Seabrook version of prom) together. But with werewolves having come into town, at least some of the old anti-monster laws are reinstituted, which would prevent zombies from going to Prawn. And there's an added wrinkle of Zed not wanting Addison to turn out to be a werewolf. Whether she truly is or not won't be revealed until she puts on a moonstone amulet that has been saved for the Great Alpha, and that doesn't happen until pretty late in the movie. (I won't spoil the result.) So, there's a rift between Addison and Zed for awhile, as Addison fully embraces the werewolves, since she's always wanted to feel like she belongs to a "pack" of her own. And she gets them to join the cheer team. Of course Zed and Addison soon get back together (though I kind of think she forgave him for something he did much too easily). And... of course the moonstone is eventually found. So there's a happy ending for everyone, and I assume the anti-monster laws will be rescinded again. The movie ends with some mysterious glowing object like a shooting star falling from the sky, which certainly seems like a sequel hook...

I've left out a lot of details, but that's all I want to say. I think I liked this movie slightly more than the first one, because of the higher stakes and everything being a bit more complicated. It's a close call, though.

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