REVIEW: “Paddington 2”

Warner Bros. Pictures - Youtube

Jonathan Montague, Contributing Writer

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One must admire how the British look after their own pool of actors and how much those actors want to work with each other. The perfect example is “Paddington 2,” the sequel to the unbelievable “Paddington” franchise that is slowly becoming the next “Kung Fu Panda” or “Toy Story” franchise. The first film was undeniably charming and quirky, a near perfect first outing for the beloved children’s book character. Judging from my former statement, its safe to assume that, yes, I believe this follow-up to be just as good, if not better than the first movie.

The film opens with Paddington, having ingratiated himself into the neighborhood, searching for the perfect birthday present for his Aunt Lucy. When he comes across the perfect gift, a one-of-a-kind pop-up book of New York, he decides to get a job and save up the money so he can purchase it. As soon as he gets close, however, the book is stolen by a rather eccentric actor, Phoenix Buchanan, and Paddington is framed and sent to prison. Now it is up the Browns to track down the real thief and the real story behind the mysterious pop-up book.

While the plot of the first film managed to be creative and yet simple so as to focus on the characters, this film goes all out with wacky hijinks after crazy occurrence in a story that shows just how creative you can get without sacrificing suspension of disbelief. What sells you on this is that these films are the embodiment of charm. Every single decision is emotionally driven, relatable and endearing. The characters and their relationships have evolved and the effect is clear on the surrounding community members, who we get to know better in this movie. Every joke lands and none of it is just a gag, instead sprouting from the bonds and interactions of the characters, with the exception of one joke which is a callback to the previous film.

There is a large cast of talented A-list actors including Sally Hawkins, Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Peter Capaldi and so many more. The best part is they are all absolutely fantastic and you enjoy every second of screen time they get. But the best performance still goes to the man who never even appears on-screen: Ben Whishaw, the voice of Paddington Brown. From the first line of the starting monologue, you instantly fall in love with his character all over again.

Not only does this film shoot London with as much love as Paddington has for the city, they still provide some visuals just as creative as the plot. The standout visual involves the pop-up book mixed with the excellent CGI used for the bears that will take your breath away, guaranteed. The music is just as charming as the rest of movie and I will be getting my hands on the soundtrack.

I believe “Paddington 2” to be the film that is most worthy of your money at the movie theater currently. It is perfect for families and will satisfy anyone just in search of a good time, with plenty of equal parts action, comedy, and goofiness. I implore you to please go see “Paddington 2.”