Paddington 2: Film Review

I loved the original Paddington so much and I was certain that the sequel couldn’t possibly top it, but how wrong I was! Paddington 2 somehow manages to be better in every way and is easily one of the best films of 2017.

The film follows Paddington (voiced Ben Whishaw) as he takes up odd jobs to pay for a pop-up book of London to give to his Aunt Lucy for her birthday. One night he spots someone breaking and entering into Mr. Gruber’s (Jim Broadbent‘s) store and stealing the book and ends up being framed for the crime and put in jail. So Mr. and Mrs. Brown (Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins), Mrs Bird (Julie Walters) and the Brown kids become detectives to find out who actually did it and clear Paddington’s name, while he plots his escape with the likes of scary chef Knuckles McGinty (Brendan Gleeson).

There are so many positive adjectives to write about this – delightful, glorious, uplifting and heartwarming are some that spring to mind. It is just so good-natured, sweet and lovely that it made my heart burst and I had a smile fixed on my face for the entire duration. It is a proper kids’ film in that it teaches viewers about the importance of family and community and being nice to others, but that doesn’t mean adults can’t enjoy it. It is hilarious, well-written and smart, and a real escape from the world.

Whishaw has the perfect voice for Paddington, just so sweet and uplifting, and the supporting cast are all excellent, like the adorable Hawkins as a wannabe detective. Hawkins is a roll at the moment, what with Maudie and The Shape of Water. It is the new additions to the cast that really elevate it – Gleeson and Hugh Grant, who both seem to be absolutely loving hamming it up. They are both fantastic but I think Grant has found his calling – he plays over-the-hill actor Phoenix Buchanan, who is a bit batty and has the most fabulous dress sense. Grant really leans into the camp side and he made me laugh so much. He stole every scene and was so well suited to the part that I couldn’t image anyone else doing it so well. This is one of his best roles to date.

I originally thought the plot in Paddington 2 was a bit lame. The story worked just fine, but it is the strong dialogue, stellar performances. stunning visuals and clever set pieces that really sell it. It is fun and entertaining, but it is also very sad – you may have to bring tissues!

In cinemas Friday 10th November 

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