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.

2 reviews

  • 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.

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