Friday, 21 October 2016

Film review: Legend of Everfree

SciTwi makes everything levitate
"The script! How are we going to sound natural now?"
Sadly, the fourth Equestria Girls movie has not been given a cinema release in the UK, so I can't repeat my big-screen viewings from the first three films. Nevertheless, Pop has now shown it over here, and with that official showing having come about I think it's time for a review. (Screenshots are from the HD Brazilian airing, though.) I don't mind EqG, but so far only one instalment – Rainbow Rocks – has really risen above the "well, that wasn't bad" level to become a personal favourite. Past the break, let's see whether LoE could do it.

In a word, no. I would place Legend of Everfree on roughly the same level as Friendship Games before it: a decent time-passer, with a few great moments, but with enough irritations to prevent its being consistently excellent. (Filthy Rich being so unpleasant, for a start.) There's one thing that I'm increasingly surprised Hasbro waved through at all, plus a rather pedestrian plot and not quite as many good songs as I'd have hoped. I really can't get worked up about it either way, which is a problem.

The more I think about Timber's budding romance with SciTwi, the more it bothers me. It's unclear how old this Twilight is supposed to be right now, but the idea of a camp counsellor carrying on a relationship with a high school student makes me feel distinctly uncomfortable. It's possible I'm just being protective of Twilight, especially since Timber seems to have been named in honour of his wooden character. Compared with EqTwi's Flash Sentry, SciTwi has really drawn the short straw here.

Gloriosa decides to go for some zapping
"And who exactly is this Jasper you lot keep going on about?"
Talking of Flash, after his admittedly highly amusing sidelining over the course of the last two films, this time round he actually gets to show some character. His scenes with ex-girlfriend Sunset Shimmer are some of the best things in the whole film – though admittedly, part of that is because Sunset herself has a good movie. I do feel a little sorry for Flash: his actual crush has gone back to being a magical pony in another world, while he's left around someone who looks and sounds like her but isn't.

Gloriosa is okay as villains go, although she doesn't have that extra something that makes an okay baddie into a great one. In this series, really only the Sirens have had that, although back in ponyland there have been several others. It's not exactly difficult to work out that she's going to turn out to be the villain, but never mind. The whole Gaea Everfree story/link (why not "Gaia"?) works okay, I suppose – and yes, I am aware of how many things I've been pronouncing "okay" in the film. It's one of its problems.

Legend of Everfree's songs are a mixed bunch. Unsurprisingly, the movie doesn't get anywhere near Rainbow Rocks in this department. It's frustrating because several of LoE's songs could have been better. Sunset gets a solo song, "Embrace the Magic" (no, not "Unleash" again!) and that one's pretty nice, but SciTwi's "The Midnight in Me" is distractingly reminiscent of "Luna's Future" and Gloriosa's potentially great villain song, "We Will Stand for Everfree" has square-peg-into-round-hole lyrics, a chronic MLP problem.

The students carry their Chinese lanterns to the dock
Surprised they're encouraging people to make these things these days
Considering how much could have been done with Midnight Sparkle, what we actually get in this movie is a bit underwhelming. Twilight seems to be suffering from a sort of PTSD (and making stuff levitate everywhere), but it's never really explored in any depth, even by EqG standards. It's increasingly looking to me as though Rainbow Rocks was a bit of an aberration, and that it's Legend of Everfree which represents the baseline standard for Equestria Girls movies: a notch above "just okay", but no more than that.

Best quote: Sunset Shimmer, to Twilight: "None [offence] taken.You'll get used to it."

  • The underlying story, though simple, is fine
  • Sunset and Flash both get some good material
  • Generally very well animated
  • "Hope Shines Eternal" is a wonderful end-credits song
  • Derpy gets to speak, albeit only one line
  • Gloriosa Daisy isn't the most epic of villains
  • TimberLight gets more iffy every time I think about it
  • Some of the songs have poorly-fitted lyrics
  • I really don't like Filthy Rich's portrayal


  1. Having had a bit of time to digest it; the film's maybe not quite as good as my first impression, but I still really like it. As for the songs:
    I really love 'The Midnight in Me', 'Legend You are Meant to Be' and 'Hope Shines Eternal'. I've really gone off 'We Will Stand for Everfree', and am still not that keen 'Embrace the Magic'. The title song is OK.

  2. My most hated EqG movie is here :D. My interest in this franchise has been deteriorated a bit, thanks to this movie.

  3. I decided to rewatch Rainbow Rocks after this one, and it is amazing that both were actually made by essentially the same team. Charismatic villains, plenty of catchy songs, the rest of the Mane 6 acting as independent characters, the whole thing about Sunset trying to redeem herself... It is as if Hasbro decreed that Equestria Girls movies had to be as bland as possible now, and they went with that.