Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

In 2014, Paddington turned out to be one of the most intelligent, entertaining and emotional children's movie in recent years, more than it had any right or expectation to be. Many children's films are cloyingly sentimental and saddled with group-written scripts that buzz around aimlessly like lightning bugs in a jar.

Aunt Lucy is coming up on her 100th birthday, and Paddington wants to give her a taste of the London experience she always dreamed of.

"Paddington 2" is fun, lovable moviemaking that transcend age. Brown (Hugh Bonneville), for one, believes that Phoenix is an upstanding citizen until his wife breaks into the actor's house and they discover stage disguises in his attic.

Sending the talking bear to prison was a tonal disaster waiting to happen, and yet the film neatly two-steps through these scenes by having Paddington do what he does best: make friends.

It would be criminal to say too much about the reasons for this impractical assignment, or the silly, utterly delightful outcome of Paddington's rare foray into the culinary arts. Unfortunately, a problematic situation arises with a narcissistic down on his luck fair entertainer (Hugh Grant) who robs the antique shop of the pop-up book, framing Paddington in the process.

Every piece of Paddington 2's machinery hums with such joyful efficiency that it feels like magic is somehow at work with this series. This Paddington, so sweetly voiced by Ben Whishaw, is just ursine enough on the one hand and just teddy enough on the other to reproduce the charm of the original. A little patience and a mess hall's worth of our hero's trademark marmalade sandwiches can mend even the hardest of hearts, in this case belonging to the most frighteningly intimidating inmate, the resident cook, played by Brendan Gleeson. Brown, the patriarch of Paddington's London family.

Paddington 2 Movie Review
Paddington 2 Movie Review

Most conversations involving Sally Hawkins these days will understandably revolve around her mesmerizing, almost wordless performance in the acclaimed drama "The Shape of Water", which in all likelihood will land the veteran British actress her first Best Actress Oscar nomination.

To this day you can still get Paddingtons in wellingtons, most notably from the kiosk in Paddington station, and it's all thanks to the Clarksons. Everyone everywhere should embrace every single thing Paddington stands for. After all, Paddington could have become just another bumbling, idiotic CGI creation getting into noisy mishaps, in the mode of Stuart Little or (shudder) Alvin and the Chipmunks.

As for Hawkins, who can presently be seen in a decidedly less family-friendly creature feature called "The Shape of Water", she remains the loveliest, most empathetic of contemporary screen heroines, an intrepid adventurer who is also a nurturing spirit.

Scary Knuckles ends up Paddington's friendCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Bilge Ebiri, Miami New Times: "Aside from being a disarming, refreshing wallow in kindness, Paddington 2 also has the benefit of being well-constructed and exceedingly well-performed". Hugh Grant is playing up his campy side and while many of his theater references will go over the younger audiences' heads, his outlandish physical comedy will not.

In the end, Paddington 2 is a heartwarming and pretty amusing thriller that'll leave you feeling warm inside on a cold winter day. His motto, "If we're kind and polite, the world will be right", is the film's entirely honest moral. If you haven't seen "Paddington" in its 2015 theatrical release or recent life online (it's now a featured title on Netflix), you're not ready for the second chapter. Paddington's eyes are exceptionally expressive. As you may know Paddington is a very polite bear who can get along with anyone.

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