It’s been so long since the last season of The Mandalorian aired in late 2020, I honestly had a difficult time at first remembering where things had even left off. But rest assure there’s still plenty of Baby Yoda (or Grogu for those who like to be more technical) to go around.
This time around Mandalorian Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu are joined by fellow Mandalorian Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) on their travels after some initial hesitation. Right off the bat there’s plenty of giant monsters and fire fights involving lasers and sabers, perfect thirst-quenchers for any old school Star Wars fans.
There’s plenty of returning familiar faces (though sadly still no Gina Carano), including Carl Weathers and Giancarlo Esposito, and even some delightful new ones (Jack Black and Christopher Lloyd are especially likable additions). The strangest moment of them all though is The Convert, an interesting enough stand alone episode featuring Omid Abtahi in the lead role that leaves viewers feeling empty without a proper ending or follow up.
It might be overly adorable at times thanks mainly to Grogu (at least the puppetry is actually done right with mainly practical effects instead of all-CGI as in most cases these days), and it’s far from perfect. But if nothing else, it is pure escapist entertainment worth occasionally getting lost in.
On the surface, Spirit Halloween: The Movie appears to be not much more than one long promo ad for the annual store in which it takes its name from. But despite its obvious flaws and cheesy-ness, it actually works as family entertainment in the same vein as the Goosebumps films, with a nostalgic touch similar to Stranger Things thrown in for good measure as well.
The plot is far from groundbreaking; a trio of adolescent friends (played by newcommers Donavan Colan, Jaiden J. Smith, and Dylan Frankel) faced with the pressures of growing up and the societal norms that come along with it, decide to spend Halloween night in said novelty store. But of course the ghost of a crabby old landlord (Christopher Lloyd) cursed by a witch before his demise in the 1940’s, is haunting the joint and looking for a permanent new body to possess before it’s too late.
Former ’90s babe Rachel Leigh Cook co-stars as the mother of one of the young boys, and Marla Gibbs (best known from such ’70s and ’80s staples as The Jeffersons and 227) plays the strange but wise old grandmother of one of the other children, each bringing just a tad more talent to the mostly unknown cast.
Spirit Halloween (the store) has become a pop culture staple, and an annual tradition as common as the haunted house for many. All in all, the film is harmless (perhaps even a bit shameless, depending on your viewpoint) fun, and perfect fodder for the spooky season.