Synopsis: Paddington, now happily settled with the Brown family and a popular member of the local community, picks up a series of odd jobs to buy the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, only for the gift to be stolen.
Release Date: January 12,2018 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Animation, Adventure
A few years ago, Paddington, along with its eponymous protagonist, charmed its way into filmgoers’ hearts everywhere. Now, thankfully, there’s a sequel that’s just as charming: the appropriately entitled Paddington 2.
Paddington 2 picks up with Paddington Bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw from Cloud Atlas and The Lobster) living in London with the Brown family and enjoying life as a member of the Windsor Gardens community. His Aunt Lucy, who always wanted to visit London but never could, is turning 100, and Paddington finds the perfect gift in a curio shop – a beautifully illustrated art book about London. Paddington takes a series of odd jobs to earn money for the book, but a nefarious actor named Phoenix Buchanan (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.‘s Hugh Grant) steals the book and frames Paddington for the crime. Paddington is sent to jail, but that doesn’t stop him and the Browns from trying to clear his name – and still come up with the book for his Aunt Lucy.
Paddington 2 is as consistent of a sequel as one is bound to find, and that’s because most of the band from the first movie is back for more. Like Paddington, Paddington 2 is directed by Paul King, and the entire principal cast is back; joining Ben Whishaw is Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), Hugh Bonneville (Breathe), Madeleine Harris (“Man Down”), Samuel Joslin (The Impossible), and Julie Walters (Brooklyn).
There is a bit of new blood, with actors like Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson (Cavalry) signing on, as well as a new co-writer for King in Simon Farnaby (Mindhorn). It’s a good mix of new and old – the familiar cast and direction make it feel like a real Paddington movie, while the new characters and story arcs provide new energy that keeps things from getting stale.
And Paddington 2 is anything but stale. From its opening world-establishing segments to the heartwarming conclusion, it’s an exciting and hilarious ride. It’s a bit episodic in nature, but still follows an overarching plotline that has a beginning, a middle, and an end, so it feels like one coherent story. And, at the center of it all is that adorable bear and his unbelievable adventures. Paddington 2 is every bit, if not more, charming and amiable than its predecessor.
Paddington 2 is one of those movies that is almost impossible not to like. Paddington Bear is lovable and charismatic, and the audience will end up being just as fond of him as the characters in the film are; whether he’s at home with the Browns or locked up in prison, everybody loves Paddington. The story is engaging and exciting, and while the twists and turns are a bit predictable, they’re still a lot of fun. And it’s hard to not enjoy a movie that puts an ear-to-ear smile on your face for basically its entire running time.
While it’s not a laugh-a-minute knee-slapper, Paddington 2 is very funny. Just because Paddington has been living in London does not mean that he has grown any more accustomed to the ways of the people, and there are plenty of gags that play off of his naivety about humankind, silly things like him cleaning his ears with a pair of electric toothbrushes. Paddington 2 takes it a step further, though, with a bunch of slapstick, almost Buster Keaton-esque scenes of physical comedy that are uproarious. Hugh Grant has his share of amusing bits as Paddington’s evil foil as well. The comedy is suited for a PG audience, with nothing too racy, but it does include a few jokes that may go over the heads of really young kids. Paddington 2 is just a good time, and a big part of that good time is due to the humorous situations in which Paddington finds himself.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Paul King
- Producer(s): David Heyman
- Screenwriter(s): Paul King, Simon Farnaby
- Story: Michael Bond
- Cast: Ben Whishaw (Paddington), Hugh Bonneville (Henry Brown), Sally Hawkins (Mary Brown), Samuel Joslin (Jonathan Brown), Madeleine Harris (Judy Brown), Hugh Grant (Phoenix Buchanan), Julie Walters (Mrs. Bird), Jim Broadbent (Mr. Gruber), Marie-France Alvarez (Mademoiselle Dubois), Brendan Gleeson (Knuckles McGinty), Michael Gambon (Uncle Pastuzo), Imelda Staunton (Aunt Lucy)
- Editor(s): Jonathan Amos
- Cinematographer: Erik Wilson
- Costume Designer: Lindy Hemming
- Casting Director(s): Lauren EvansNina Gold
- Music Score: Dario Marianelli
- Country Of Origin: USA, UK