Paddington 2 (2017)

  • Time: 95 min
  • Genre: Animation | Adventure | Comedy
  • Director: Paul King
  • Cast: Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Hugh Bonneville

Storyline:

Paddington is happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief.

3 comments

  • Paddington 2, the sequel to the 2014 live action film based on Michael Bond’s hugely popular children’s books, may be more of the same but when the same is so charming and delightful then, by all means, let’s have more of it. Watching the irresistible sequel is akin to being awash in a blanket of love, kindness and – yes, why not – marmalade.

    It’s been several years since the polite but plucky Paddington (voiced to perfection by Ben Whishaw) was taken in by the Brown family. Paddington has settled in nicely, beloved by all their neighbours save for the curmudgeonly Mr. Curry (Peter Capaldi), and continuing to write updates about himself and the Browns to his beloved Aunt Lucy. Matriarch Mary Brown (Sally Hawkins) is training to swim the English Channel, daughter Judy (Madeleine Harris) has started her own newspaper using an old printing press, son Jonathan (Samuel Joslin) has decided to start calling himself J-Dog, and patriarch Henry (Hugh Bonneville) is in the midst of a mid-life crisis after not receiving the work promotion he had expected. Nevertheless, despite these niggles, life is jolly for the family.

    Trouble, both major and minor, is just around the corner when Paddington decides to get a job so he can save money to buy an antique pop-up book for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday. However, the “popping book,” as kindly Mr. Gruber (Jim Broadbent) describes it, contains more than just pop-up scenes of various London landmarks. It actually features clues which leads to a hidden treasure. Paddington, naturally, doesn’t know this but neighbour Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant) certainly does. A faded and vainglorious actor, Buchanan provides damning testimony when Paddington is unjustly accused of breaking into Mr. Gruber’s antique shop and stealing the popping book.

    Thus, our ursine hero finds himself incarcerated with the likes of Nuckles McGinty (Brendan Gleeson), the prison cook who sends shivers down all the inmates’ spines but who, like everyone else, is soon won over by Paddington’s insistence on looking for the good in everyone. (Witnessing Nuckles and the other criminals’ hardened natures melt under Paddington’s influence is a particular pleasure.) Meanwhile, the Browns are doing their best to bring to light the true culprit, Buchanan, before it’s too late.

    As with the original, the sequel’s quaintness at no point ever dips into the cloying. It also retains its wholly British flavour, its influences ranging from the BBC’s Paddington TV sketches of the 1970s to music hall to the Ealing comedies with more than a dash of Wes Anderson, Mel Brooks, and Busby Berkeley thrown in for good measure. The production design by Gary Williamson is as glorious as ever – day-glo sets and costumes, richly detailed set pieces, and one especially lovely sequence that finds the pop-up book coming to life. Animation and digital teams deserve kudos for maintaining and, at times, surpassing the high standards set by the original.

    A plethora of British actors deliver wonderful performances and the likes of Joanna Lumley, Richard Ayoade, and Tom Conti turn in cracking cameos. Best of all is Grant, clearly having the time of his life and putting forth one of the most engaged and superb performances of his career. Thoroughly enchanting from start to finish (and most definitely stay for the finish!), Paddington 2 once again proves that home is where the heart is and that kindness makes the world go around.

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  • “Paddington wouldn’t hesitate if any of us needed help!
    He looks for the good in all of us.”

    We have an annual tradition. The last day of the year we go to the cinema with the whole family to end that year with a cozy family film. This year the kids had their minds set on an adventure of the adorable and over-friendly British bear Paddington. To be honest, I was reluctant to watch this movie and I intended to use the full duration of this film to make up for my sleep shortage caused by the Christmas holiday. But I have to admit that I actually enjoyed Paddington’s adventure. Better yet, there were even times when I laughed out loud. And believe me, that isn’t something I do often during a film.

    A good indication wether the film was a success or not, are my two children. Full of excitement they were watching the film without fidgeting in their chairs and without nagging for another snack constantly. I hadn’t seen Paddington’s first film, unlike my two little brats. I can only remember the hilarious bathroom scene where a terrible amount of water was used. I was hoping this film would be packed with such crazy situations and that it wouldn’t be a corny, honeyed tearjerker. And you can rest assured. There are plenty of those crazy situations. From the beginning it became clear that we would see a series of visual jokes Buster Keaton would be jealous about. From two adult bears rescueing young Paddington in the Amazon forest to the mess Paddington caused during the execution of his jobs. Jobs that he has to carry out so he can buy a huge picture book for his aunt’s birthday. A picture book that has hints so you could find a treasure (something Paddington doesn’t know of course).

    In terms of acting, it’s mainly that of Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson I liked the most. Hugh Grant as the narcissistic-minded Phoenix Buchanan whose house is full of self-portraits. Perhaps the subtle humor won’t be noticed by the younger viewers, but the way the actor Buchanan demonstrates the exaggerated portion of self-mockery, can be called truly brilliant. Obviously, the way he tries to discover the clues in several London landmarks is rather exaggerated. But the entertainment value is of a very high level. It ‘s also a joy to watch Brendan Gleeson as Knuckles McGinty. He’s the frightening cook in the kitchen of the prison where Paddington ended up. And he runs that kitchen like a real tyrant. The fact that Paddington’s fellow prisoners look rather pink in their prison outfit because of Paddington’s clumsy behavior and then they demonstrate their pastry skills, isn’t top-class humor either. But again, the entertainment value is shockingly high.

    All in all, this is a successful family film every person of any age can enjoy. And the release date is also chosen strategically. After all, it’s the Christmas period. However, I don’t think it will match the success of “Home Alone”. I’m sure we’ll still see the latter on a multitude of television channels every year. Unfortunately, because I like a bit of variety. I had a double feeling about the ending. At first I thought it was an artificial trick to get the audience into a sentimental mood. But then it took a completely different turn when I heard the reaction of my youngest son, who, after his mother told him how it would end, replied surprised : “How did you know that, mum ?”. At that moment I think jealousy came into play. I realized that I had lost the wondering and amazement that a child experiences. I am rarely surprised by a film. Most of the times I can predict the ending of a film in advance and I realize afterwards that I’m analyzing the film instead of enjoying it. And that little boy is overwhelmed by that self-evident ending. A film with lovely Paddington made me realize this. A film is a weird medium.

    More reviews here : movie-freak.be

  • Bear faced brilliance.
    Rating = 9/10.

    I never went to see “Paddington 2” at the cinema when it came out. Well, it’s a kids film isn’t it? And my grandkids I thought… well, their probably a bit too young for the long haul on this one. But – after catching up with it recently on a transatlantic flight – I’m sorry I missed it. For it is brilliant in its own way.

    Having not seen the first “Paddington”, also directed by Paul King, there is a useful little flashback to the Peruvian origins of the little chap before we pitch into the plot proper. Paddington (voiced by Ben Wishaw, “Spectre“) has nicely settled down to life with The Brown’s in their London home and is a well-loved member of the community (well, well loved that is by everyone except the cranky Mr Curry (Peter Capaldi, “Dr Who“, “World War Z“). But he longs to buy his Aunt Lucy (Imelda Staunton, “Finding Your Feet“) a special birthday present – a pop-up book of London scenes that he’s seen in a local antique shop. But for that he needs a lot of cash, and so proceeds to earn it through a variety of different jobs.

    However, fading actor Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant, “Florence Foster Jenkins“, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.“) also shows an unhealty interest in the book and, after it disappears from the shop with Paddington’s paw prints all over the scene, the poor bear finds himself on the wrong side of the law.

    This is a continually inventive movie, which rockets along with truly impressive verve and panache from scene to scene. As a particular example of this, an animated walk through the pop-up book is marvellously done: a tribute to the 2D retro nature (even in those days!) of the TV animation of the 70’s that will go over the heads of younger viewers. There are plenty of slapstick scenes – notably of Paddington trying window cleaning, and his job in a barber’s shop – which will not only delight younger children but also made this 57 year old laugh out loud too! The prison sequence also delights, with a laundry blunder by the bear leading into a comical showdown with the prison’s chief poisoner, sorry, head chef played by Brendan Gleeson (“Alone in Berlin“, “Live By Night“).

    The cast all seem to revel in their parts, with Hugh Bonneville (“Viceroy’s House“, “The Monuments Men“) energetic as Mr Brown and Oscar runner-up (surely!) Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water“) very chirpy as Mrs Brown. All of the residents of Windsor Gardens are a who’s who of UK film and TV, and each cameo has a lovely little tale behind it: Julie Walters (“Brooklyn“) as Mrs Bird, the Brown’s help; Sanjeev Bhaskar as Dr Jafri, forever nearly locking himself out; Miss Kitts (Jessica Hynes) and the crusty Colonel Lancaster (Ben Miller) in a ‘will they/won’t they’ potential romance. Elsewhere, Jim Broadbent (“Bridget Jones Baby“, “Eddie the Eagle“) is great as the antique store owner; Tom Conti adds both gravitas and humour as Judge Biggleswade and Richard Ayoade (“The Double“) is very funny as a forensic expert.

    Head and shoulders above all of them though is Hugh Grant who is just outstandingly good as the puffed-up and self-important ham-actor. His Best Supporting Actor nomination for a BAFTA was surprising, but having seen the film so very much deserved. Hang around in the end credits for his last words of the film which are cornily hilarious! One can only hope that Phoenix Buchanen returns for Paddington 3.

    I would have thought that some of the scenes towards the end of the film, particularly one where Paddington seems doomed to a watery end, might be a little frightening for younger viewers. Thank heavens Sally Hawkins has gills! 🙂

    Overall, this is a movie I would gladly watch again, with or without kids. In a movie landscape that is pretty devoid of good comedy, here is a movie that really did make me laugh out loud.

    (For the graphical version, please visit bob-the-movie-man.com or One Mann’s Movies on Facebook. Thanks).

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