Paddington 2

Paddington 2

Paddington 2 

2018.  Directed by Paul King. 

By Brian Wallinger

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In 2014, Paddington (based off a critically acclaimed children's series) released to vastly popular receptions. It was singled out for its warmth, faithfulness to the source material, and for creating its own visual essence. The sequel; directed by Paul King, surpasses the original in almost every way.  Taking place sometime after the original, it expands on everything from the characters to its world building, creating a sharper film that will be looked at in the years to come as one of the most joyous family films ever produced.

Paddington (once again voiced by Ben Whishaw) finds himself on another adventure with his adoptive family in an attempt to give his aunt a surprise trip to England. Not having the appropriate funds to bring her overseas, Paddington decides to work enough hours to save up for a popup picture book of London (That unknown to Paddington contains hidden messages that lead to a hidden treasure). Actor Hugh Grant plays the villain in a very charismatic performance who has an interest in the book and steals it. Paddington is framed for the robbery and placed in prison where he crosses paths with a prison chef (Brendan Gleeson) with a heart of gold. Meanwhile Sally Hawkins and Hugh Bonnevile race against time to catch Hugh Grant and rescue Paddington.

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In some instances, the film holds a heavy aesthetic that Wes Anderson himself would be proud of: It is a very unique film that generates both empathy and love. Grant’s turn as a sleazy down on his luck actor turned villain is a hysterical performance for the ages.  The screenplay, written by Simon Farnaby, takes the formula that made the original a success and matures it, delivering an unforgettable, heartwarming story. Gleeson’s exchanges with Whishaw are also some nice comical relief.

In the end, if anything. Paddington 2 is an immensely entertaining and worthwhile film that will make fans and audiences rejoice.

4 Stars. 

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