D2: The Mighty Ducks
1994 Directed by Sam Weisman. Starring Emilio Estevez, Michael Tucker, Jan Rubes, Kathryn Erbe.
REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., April 1, 1994
“We will, we will quack you,” goes this movie's singsong chant. Usually, movies only spawn sequels and self-perpetuating merchandising paraphernalia. But last time out, The Mighty Ducks gave birth to a new DIsney-owned National Hockey League franchise and I'm sure that must be good for entirely new levels of marketing madness. Ironically, this sequel moralizes about the evils of commercialization, about the pitfalls of winning product endorsements over team victories. The first Ducks was an unexpectedly successful little movie about a high-and-mighty lawyer forced to do community service coaching a motley team of kid hockey players in Minneapolis. The lawyer learns to be a mensch and the kids learn to think of themselves as winners and in between the drama there's some appealing hockey action. But with this sequel, there's nowhere for that dramatic path to continue. So the now-nice Coach Gordon Bombay (Estevez) has to return to being a bad guy when he loses his soul in greedy Los Angeles and loses his scruples to a beachfront Malibu home. The kids are no longer city park ragamuffins; they're now Junior Goodwill Games-quality “Team USA” competitors. They form the most multi-ethnic Rainbow Coalition of hockey players you've ever seen. (And, as in the first movie, every time the name Gordon Bombay is invoked -- which is frequently -- I subliminally desire a snifter of gin.) D2 is nothing but pure formula. Only problem is that the formula doesn't work here because it requires the movie to repeat the same ground over again and that's extremely awkward in a story that's already progressed past that point. The entire narrative is then tenuous and when there wasn't much story there to begin with, “less” is certainly not a virtue.