Film Review: Paddington 2

Paul King’s Paddington 2 is a brilliant sequel. The film is both thoroughly entertaining and genuinely heartwarming.

Living with the Brown family, Paddington seeks the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy’s birthday. When he finds it, he sets about getting a job to pay for it. Unfortunately it is stolen before he can purchase it…

A sequel to 2014’s Paddington, director and co-writer Paul King’s latest film does its predecessor justice. The film features the same wonderful style as the 2014 film, and packs an emotional punch. The beauty of Paddington 2, and its predecessor, is the projection of a wholesome character in an idealised world. Yet this is never overly schmaltzy or patronising. Instead, the film is joyously positive and provides a charming and kind protagonist. The demographics of the street which the Browns inhabit might be a little less convincing, however this is barely noticeable in an otherwise finely rendered film.

With the origins story established in the first film, Paddington 2 moves the action forward to the title character’s established life. The narrative is predictable, but this does not matter as the script is great, characters are well written, and the set pieces are amusing. The story moves at a good place, allowing space for humour and emotional moments. Wisely, the Brown family take secondary roles in the film. King focuses the action on Paddington, and new characters he interacts with. This works well, allowing for larger-than-life characters to take centre stage.

Phoenix Buchanan is a great antagonist. Hugh Grant steals most of the scenes he is in, with a delightfully self-deprecating and outlandish performance. Ben Whishaw is most fitting as the voice of Paddington, and Brendan Gleeson appears to be having fun in his role. Special effects in the film are seamless; it is easy to forget that Paddington is a CGI character.

Paddington 2 is a welcome dose of happiness in a troubling world. Both children and adults should lap it up.

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