The boys ofUmbrella Academy they had left us with bated breath. With a powerful cliffhanger, the Netflix series created by Steve Blackman and taken from the comics of Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba ended the first season (here our review of The Umbrella Academy) with a jump in time at the end of ten episodes of the highest level: a product, The Umbrella Academy, which we can safely count among the most virtuous and interesting in the park of original productions of the American streaming giant, an effective and irreverent deconstruction of the superhero genre capable of passion and excitement without ever taking itself seriously.
Now, the reckless Hargreeves gang is preparing to return for a whole new adventure, starting with the next July 31 worldwide exclusive on Netflix. We have seen a large number of preview episodes and, before accompanying you with the final review on the debut day of Season 2, we want to send you our first impressions on the product: Luther, Diego, Allison, Klaus, Cinque and Vanya will have been able to replicate the glories of last year?
Where, indeed when, we had stayed
Before throwing ourselves headlong into the analysis of the novelties of The Umbrella Academy it seems right to summarize past events and remember where we were staying. When time travel and alternative timelines are involved, on the other hand, there is no joking, but the Steve Blackman series succeeds splendidly in its intent once again: explore the boundaries of the cinecomic and the science fiction genre without disorient your audience with intelligent and pressing writing.
So if you remember, it all started in 1989, when the tycoon Sir Reginald Hargreeves adopt 7 infants who came to light on the same day in extraordinary circumstances: until a few hours before, in fact, their respective mothers did not wait for children. The philanthropist grows his adopted children with an iron fist, subjecting them to very hard tests and training to make them superheroes and prepare them for the most disparate threats: the Hargreeves brothers, in fact, were born in possession of incredible superpowers, and their youth spends in the ranks of the 'Umbrella Academy, deprived of the pleasures of childhood and devoted exclusively to the fight against crime. But the years pass: after the death of one of the 7 e the disappearance of "Numero Cinque"once the group reaches adulthood, it melts, seeks emancipation from the insensitive clutches of the father and pursues a normal life. Vanya (Ellen Page), the most fragile of the group and induced from an early age to believe that she has no power, seeks her place in the world; Allison (Emmy Raver Lampman) become a successful actress; Klaus (Robert Sheehan) flees from his childhood traumas finding solace in alcoholism and drug addiction; Diego (David Castaneda) tries to take advantage of Ser Reginald's lineage, operating as a vigilante; Luther (Tom Hopper), the only one who has never managed to abandon his paternal home, goes to live on the Moon, believing that he must perform an essential task for the safeguard of humanity.
But everything changes when a series of events force the brothers to come together: the death of Sir Hargreeves and the return of Number Five, returned from a long journey through time to admonish his family: an apocalypse is upon us and the world will end within seven days.
Exaggerated, crazy, desecrating but extraordinarily profound: the first season of The Umbrella Academy was a jewel of writing and style, a well-packed story full of charismatic and well-defined characters. So what is this second season like?
Let's save the sixties!
We reply immediately: The Umbrella Academy 2 is a continuation worthy of its predecessor. The events start again from the final battle which, finally, prevented the Hargreeves brothers from stopping the apocalypse: Vanya's extraordinary dormant power was about to annihilate the group, but Alison's intervention diverted the energy rays towards the Moon, shattering the satellite into a thousand pieces and causing a devastating meteor shower.
Just before the cataclysm hit Earth, though, Cinque managed to make a new journey through time, but things do not go as the protagonist had imagined: the 6 brothers are catapulted in the sixties, but each in a different year. As if this were not enough, the new time jump has once again shifted the balance of the continuum and has anticipated the apocalypse of several decades: now the protagonists find themselves involved in a new race against time to stop yet another day of judgment, but on their way they will face even greater obstacles. First of all, Cinque will have to find his missing brothers and then convince them to join forces one last time to save the world. There Commissionhowever, he is still on the trail of the ex-assassin, and above all our heroes will have to deal with a series of incredible twists. In short, the basic warp stands on tracks similar to those of the first season, albeit with some differences: the historical context is now much more central, since the apparently triggering event of the new apocalypse and the famous murder of President Kennedy, in a precarious socio-political scenario between espionage, racism and a cold war at the gates.
The Umbrella Academy is found exactly as we left it: eclectic, extravagant, ready to pour on the audience a surprising start and a series of simply breathtaking developments. If the first block of episodes was focused, in large part, on discovering the background on the family and deepening the introspection of each protagonist, this time the plot is the real protagonist of the story: already only in the first 5 episodes the plot reveals a sequence formidable plot twist e secrets that mess up the cards on the table, adding precious elements to the basic imagination.
An enormous advantage of The Umbrella Academy 2, just like in the original comics, is the deepening of your worldbuilding with a series of unexpected and unpredictable returns: we do not want and we cannot reveal further details, but just know for example that you will see somehow even the ruthless Sir Reginald, and that the dark secrets of the founder of Umbrella are by no means over.
Midseason: promoted or rejected?
Also in this second season, finally, the same attention returns to a pop and over the top aesthetic, a product that is now pure comedy, is now unbridled action, is now a succession of overbearing dramas, with particular attention paid to social issues.
If in the first season much of the message was addressed to the theme of family and love, here the authors went on: in Umbrella Academy 2 we talk again about homosexuality, but in a new light, of racism, even of "Black Lives Matter", and of fanaticism. Not everything is always perfect, at least according to the vision of half of the overall episodes: some small plot passage seems hasty and forced to us, the staging is sublime in photography and choreography, but it creaks in the effects. Small defects that repeat themselves, confirming the production capacity of the show, but which are obscured by a heart-pounding script and an even more brilliant and close-knit cast: the always excellent Ellen Page and the colossal Tom Hopper, here called to a more relaxing and less serious role, simply magnificent instead the progressive Allison and activist of Emmy Raver Lampman. From applause, once again, the evidence of Robert Sheehan and Aidan Gallagher, very young and magnetic in the shoes of the indecipherable "Mr. Five".