Everything Is Not What It Seems
A Review of
Disney’s The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex
By Bonne Appetit
Cast: Selena Gomez, Jake T. Austin, Jennifer Stone, Greg Sulkin
Directed by: Victor Gonzalez
Synopsis: The Russo family and friends are headed to Tuscany, Italy, to meet their long lost relatives… but when Alex tries to prove she’s more than a seemingly carefree young Wizard, she inadvertently conjures a spell that creates a Good Alex and an Evil Alex. When Evil Alex gets roped into a charming young wizard’s foreboding plan to take over the world, Good Alex must find a way to save her family and humankind, which leads to a monumental battle between the two versions of herself – all atop the Tower of Pisa.
The Russo’s are back to charm us for the last time, as Alex Russo’s (Selena Gomez) carefree spirit brought dilemmas that could end the race of mortal humans. We get to see the same old cast but with the absence of Justin Russo (David Henrie), Alex’s older brother.
The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex is the second TV movie for the defunct Disney show, The Wizards of Waverly Place. When Alex had magically eliminates her rude side out, she incidentally brought crisis as she split herself into two and conjured a fully evil Alex Russo. It was up to her (the Good Alex) to save the world from her evil self, who was gaining help from a friend turned traitor.
Victor Gonzalez’ direction was good comparing to the very first The Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie. The first scene towards the Crystals of Justice is so beautifully crafted, and all of the special effects are neat.
The costumes maintain the elements of their characters, citing Harper’s (Jennifer Stone) Lady Gaga-ish style of dresses. Although the bad Alex’s costume was totally wicked, they could have done better for the Good Alex’s character.
Cinematography wise, the scenes were as not as theatrical as the first Wizards movie, however, it was good to see that they have managed to re-use their original set, with the fact that the TV show ended more than a year ago.
While a lot of fans of the show may consider this TV movie fantastic and nostalgic, the storyline is a bit bland. The storyline diminishes the serious tone from the first movie, and added more comedic lines, which some of them are kind of cheesy. To put a cherry on top, the laugh track makes the TV movie very annoying. Everything happened so fast that the momentum is not even that satisfying. However, the fight scene between the Good and the Bad Alex was awesome.
Jennifer Stone’s portrayal of Harper Finkle is exceptional. The rest of the cast are excellent as well, however, with Selena Gomez, there are some parts that she’s really good, and some parts that are odd, especially when Alex flung her wand after failing to reach her brother through her wand phone. The “Ryan Gosling” part, however, did make me laugh; pointing out that she’s natural when it comes to comedy.
The TV movie ran only for roughly 60 minutes, but despite the minor faults, it was absolutely great to see the casts of Wizards once again.