Sunday, 12 November 2017
#89 PADDINGTON 2
Starring Ben Whishaw, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi and Hugh Grant. Written by Paul King and Simon Farnaby. Directed by Paul King. Running time 103 minutes.
The first Paddington film, directed by Paul King and released in 2014 was a glorious delight utterly impossible to dislike and one which left you with a grin on your face and a spring in your step. This sequel is utterly committed to the old notion of if it ain't broke don't fix it, and not fixing it is exactly what it does!
The story sees our plucky marmalade addicted young Peruvian bear set out on a quest to buy a special one-off pop-up book for his aunt, only to fall foul of a sneak thief and end up in prison where his limitless decency and niceness wins over a convict population of hardened serial killers, murderers and rapists who help him escape to save the day, while the Brown family set off to find the real thief to prove Paddington's innocence.
If you liked or loved the first film, chances are you'll love this critic proof, family, film which offers exactly the same as the first film but now with an added extremely sweet and silly plot that features, silly slapstick skits, prison breaks and a big train chase. We get to see the positive benefit Paddington brings to his adoptive human family and his neighbours and it's all done with such sweetness and innocence that it's truly hard to hate this.
I loved the first film, thought it was an utter delight. And while I found this sequel perhaps too twee, too sweet and just too damn nice I still can't really fault it, the cgi was lovely, the performances engaging and the utterly charming nature of Paddington is a terribly hard drug to say NO to. This film is filled with delightful stunts, gags and some splendid CGI animation which feels far more real than Murder on the Orient Express. And while the CGI animation is good, and it is! It's the use of an animated sequence using paper cut-outs that fondly remembers the old TV animated Paddington show that puts the 5" thick icing on the cake.
Overall, this is a delightful and charming film which while it does feel a little laboured at time still wins you over with its relentless niceness. And that coupled with actors as good as Brendan Gleeson, Peter Capaldi, Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville and Hugh Grant means you end up swept up by it all and leaving feeling a little fuzzy and warm.
Finally, Hugh Grant deserves a special mention for his fantastic post credit song and dance number which delivers a satisfying full stop to the proceedings.