Bearly any flaws in this family film of the year!
I repeat the same regime before seeing any ‘kids’ film. I’ll be sat at my office desk, convincing myself that I’ll not enjoy something that’s essentially designed for a younger audience. And yet, more so than not, I’ll walk out of the screening with a huge smile on my face, with my inner-child well and truly surfaced. That was certainly the case with Paddington 2.
Based on the best-selling and internationally adored series of children’s stories by Michael Bond, our marmalade sandwich loving hero is back and once again voiced to perfection by Ben Whishaw. Paddington is happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he’s become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes.
In this sequel to 2014’s surprisingly huge box office hit, our beloved bear wants to get something special for Aunt Lucy’s (Imelda Staunton) 100th birthday. He decides to get a pop-up book of London’s most famous landmarks, which he purchases from Mr. Gruber’s (Jim Broadbent) antiques shop.
Whilst saving up for the book, Paddington has an encounter with a washed-up actor named Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant). And yes, Hugh Grant has indeed mentioned the irony of this particular role.
The talking bear informs Buchanan of the book that he is saving to buy, which is rumoured to contain extremely valuable information within it. And so, Buchanan steals it, framing Paddington in the process. As a result, the adorable animal is sent to prison. Is he able to clear his name, and in time for Aunt Lucy’s birthday?
Sequels rarely live up to their predecessor and I was worried Paddington 2 would suffer the same fate. If anything, this joyous sequel is even better. It’s taken everything that was good about the first and built on it.
The biggest improvement is having a much more entertaining villain. Hugh Grant demonstrates his genius for light comedy as a devious actor fallen on hard times. He’s clearly having fun with the role, resulting in the audience having more fun watching him. Make sure you stick around for a mid-credit sequence to witness the actor like you’ve never seen him before.
Yet again Paul King and his co-writer Simon Farnaby have wonderfully caught the playful innocence of Michael Bond’s stories while adding more than enough adult humour to keep us big kids entertained. King’s genius lies in his ability to tickle our funny bones one minute and pull on our heart strings the next. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. Most importantly, you’ll love it!
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Genre: Family Comedy
Running Time: 1hr 43mins
Written & Directed by: Paul King.
Cast: Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant, Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters, Sally Hawkins & Jim Broadbent.
See Paddington 2and much more at Showcase Cinema, Peterborough. Visit www.showcasecinemas.co.uk for the latest up-to-date show times. You can also join the chat on Twitter @showcasecinemas or on Facebook by searching for ‘Showcase Cinemas UK’.