I’m going to begin this review with a bold statement: ‘Paddington 2 is easily one of the best family entertainment I have seen in a very long time.’ This sweet and funny sequel stars Hugh Bonneville (‘Notting Hill’), Sally Hawkins (‘The Shape of Water’), Brendan Gleeson (‘Braveheart’), Julie Walters (‘Harry Potter’) and Hugh Grant (‘Notting Hill’). Paddington 2 provides all the sweetness and comic relief needed in a world we live in today.
I don’t think many people would disagree with me when I say that Paddington 2 is even better than its predecessor. The previous movie was a solid family movie, but Nicole Kidman’s villainous character just didn’t stick with me. Hugh Grant’s character greatly makes up for that problem and adds a funny, less patronizing layer to his character. Even though his character wasn’t kind at all, he wasn’t just plain evil whereas Kidman’s character was way less sympathetic and perhaps too evil for a children’s movie. Paddington 2 restores the balance between being villainous but still sympathetic. Ben Wishaw, who continues to be the voice of Paddington, enlightens our life again. His voice fits the character perfectly. I couldn’t imagine a voice better than Wishaw’s. I admit I was scared that Paddington 2 couldn’t possibly succeed the first one successfully, so I was quite surprised to find out that I was proven wrong.
In the sequel, Paddington desires to give aunt Lucy the best gift she could wish for her birthday. He discovers a pop-up book of London but doesn’t have enough money to buy it for her. Paddington decides to put his right hand to the work in order to buy aunt Lucy the best birthday present ever. Things don’t go well for him at first. His first job as an hairdresser’s assistant resulted in a complete failure. Paddington decides to make it himself a bit easier. He chooses to become a window cleaner. The comedic scene couldn’t be more heartwarming or funny!
After having worked hard to earn his pop-up book for aunt Lucy, he decides to examine the book in its full glory behind the glass. The young bear discovers that the book has disappeared and witnesses how the thief escapes out of the shop. Having done his utmost best, Paddington fails to catch the thief and gets arrested himself. The poor young bear ends in jail, being accused falsely of theft. In jail, Paddington meets up with a bunch of new characters, a group of prisoners. Paddington doesn’t make a good impression at first and the prisoners aren’t exactly welcoming. Soon, Paddington becomes a stalwart friend among the prisoners and conjures up a smile upon each prisoner’s face. Even the prisoners can’t refuse Paddington’s sandwiches with orange marmalade. Together with his family members, Paddington goes on a mission to find the real thief so the truth can finally be revealed.
Paddington 2 is the perfect family movie to watch on a Saturday evening. It contains everything to be considered a great children’s movie: there is plenty of humour, tearjerking scenes, and action. The strongest aspects of the movie are the lighthearted humour and the sympathetic characters. Paddington’s character truly is one of the most charming children’s icons out there today and I am interested to see how they will develop Michael Bond’s clumsy young bear over the course of the years. A third movie might be possible according to StudioCanal CEO Didier Lupfer.
Just like with Paddington 2’s predecessor, the movie falls short of real surprises and was quite predictable at times. But I’m generally okay with that, considering that it’s a movie for children. Hugh Grant also provided a much better villain than Kidman, but that wasn’t the fault of the actress but rather the nature of her written character. Grant’s character remained likable throughout the movie and could be considered more annoying than truly evil. His character also added to the great humour the movie provided us with.
Taking into account that Paddington 2 is a family movie, I can absolutely recommend it. Paddington 2 continues the success of its predecessor in many ways, and can even be considered as the better one of the two. But don’t expect more than a sweet and innocent children’s film and you won’t be disappointed at all.