The first movie, Mythica: A Quest for Heroes, was not a bad movie but with some major debits and not an awful lot special about it. It was watchable if on the mediocre side if anything. Its first sequel Mythica: The Darkspore quality-wise is about the same (though with a couple of improvements), watchable with nothing to get angry or excited about.
Where it improves on its predecessor is in most of the production values. It's a very nicely photographed movie and more focused in terms of camera work and the scenery is more sweeping and boasts more colour and a little more atmosphere. Costumes and sets allow one to get suitably immersed in the fantasy world that is being portrayed. The acting is also much improved. Melanie Stone, one of the best things about the first movie, gives another very good performance, and the character is engaging and well-rounded. Nicola Posener's acting is more natural to her rather stiff acting in the previous movie, and while his screen time is still rather short Kevin Sorbo does have more to do and he does seem more involved.
Mythica: The Darkspore's music score is suitably stirring and grand, it also fits better than in the first movie (though it was still one of the better assets before as well) and is recorded better. The humour is much less awkward here thankfully, sure there were times where it wasn't really needed but it's better placed and its tongue-in-cheek nature is actually amusing, even with a character that could have been obnoxious if executed wrongly.
However, the special effects are a mixed bag. At best they just pass muster (never more than that), but in other places they do look ropey, the encounter with the mythical entity indeed looks distractingly bad. The action is even more clumsily executed than in the first, being unexciting and under-choreographed and it all looks too safe. Some sloppy editing and lack of interaction in the scenes featuring any action are further disadvantages, not being more apparent in the big fight towards the end which was rushed in storytelling which hurt the coherence of it, terribly clumsy in staging and pedestrian in choreography.
Regarding the script, the humour is nice and there are some interesting parts but it's still a bit trite and could have explained things much more. The direction has some imaginative moments, but is mostly of the getting-the-job-done-in-a-routine-fashion type, and while kudos is due making the story darker and more complex this time round instead of the non-stop thrill ride it should have been it was somewhat inconsistent. There are some nice moments that maintain interest and it does have more heart than its predecessor, but it does drag in spots and bumps along, with variable momentum, rather than flowing smoothly. The characters are never annoying, but only the main character is properly interesting, the rest are there with shades of a likable personality but little development and some like some of the mythical characters were not always needed.
All in all, not bad, nothing special. Passes the time without one getting irked or raving. 5/10 Bethany Cox