Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World in a way tries to mitigates Pocahontas’ historical love story. But be under no illusion, this thing as historically accurate as the original Pocahontas. But whereas the first film was entertaining and memorable this one is annoying and dull.
So what is the plot? In a nutshell, Pocahontas has to avoid war by going to England and proving that she a civilized lady. The person who helps her the most is John Rolfe. Rofle is a diplomat sent to Virginia by King James. John Smith is presumed dead through most of the movie but helps Pocahontas when she is trouble and they part ways as friends. Smith is totally cool with Rolfe though.
This movie has a little bit of an identity problem with Pocahontas, who is also having a identity problem in the movie. She doesn’t know what she wants. Her going to England is part of that. Pocahontas then has to pretend to be civilized in the British standard because if she doesn’t know the difference between an egg soup and melon soup, her people are as good as dead.
However she learns to be true to herself so movie feels rather pointless other than getting her and Rolfe to hook up and ending things with Smith. But more than that, this movie has her dressing more like a Disney Princess. Hell if I know why Disney doesn’t just sell dolls of her that gown.
Then we have the point of the movie. You see historical Pocahontas and John Smith were not lovers. Pocahontas married John Rolfe. So this movie tries to correct the couple in first movie.
But how are Rolfe and Pocahontas as a couple. Meh, fine, I guess . They are not really super interesting but there is nothing wrong either. Their snarky phase lasts like two minutes so it didn’t get annoying.
John Smith however is annoying. All he does is make puns. Mel Gisbon didn’t reprise his role but they got his younger brother, Donald, which is distracting. But for people who want a prominent actor, they got Billy Zane to play John Rolfe, which is fine, he’s a cool dude.
Speaking of quoting other things. This movie uses two famous quotes badly. First, when Pocahontas arrives in London we see William Shakespeare apparently getting the idea for the line “to be or not to be.” Ok, FUCK YOU MOVIE. I know you’re historically challenged but shoehorning Shakespeare here is beyond the pail.
Historically Hamlet was already written, second Shakespeare died two months prior to Pocahontas arriving in England. And then Smith somewhat quotes Mark Twian’s “Reports my death have been grossly exaggerated.” That is just an eye roll but the Shakespeare one is super stupid.
Beside the gross historical inaccuracies what is wrong with movie? It’s really slow paced. It like a sleep-inducing, Ambien, level of energy. The movie livens up a bit when they go to London but the London scenes are annoying as fuck. So what is worse, a movie being annoying or dull? Hard one! But you don’t have to chose because this movie is both.
I think what really drags the movie down is Ratcliffe. Ratcliffe has no real motivation. I think he wants to cause a war with the Powhaten so he get gold. Like that is his motivation? That is stupid.
However, all he does in this movie is cause shenanigans. I would say he just a chaotic evil than having some grand scheme but he doesn’t really act like chaotic evil. He acts like he has a grand scheme but we don’t know what it is. Ratcliffe was a dumb villain in the first movie and he is worse in this thing.
Are there any good things about this film? Yes actually there is. I really enjoyed the new side characters. Pocahontas’ bodyguard Uttamatomakkin was a delight. I love this guy. He’s a tall stoic guy who is awesome. I loved with him drinking tea, classic. Mrs Jenkins, Rolfe’s house keeper, is a little annoying but her constantly making tea was silly. The blind gag was annoying though. But these two have personality which the main characters don’t. The main sidekicks didn’t annoy me as much as I thought they would so plus there.
As a sequel goes Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World is a decent continuation, as the concept doesn’t shit all over the first one but it fails big in execution.
(Fun Fact – I have been to both Jamestown and London, not much of a feat I know)Follow thehunchblog
I enjoyed reading your reviews on The Hunchback of Notre Dame (The Disney film and other adaptions) as well as your recent reviews on the Disney sequels. Do you plan to review Disney’s Lion King 2 and Little Mermaid 2?
Thank you, and yes The Lion King II is scheduled for January 9th and the Little Mermaid II is scheduled for January 23rd.
Sweet! I look forward to reading them. Here’s a random observation from the Pocahontas 2 movie but her bodyguard looks like Lurch from The Addams Family (1964-1966) but just the Native American version of him.