I’m crying during the talking bear film-I hope the kids don’t notice. That was my thought about ¾ of the way through Paddington2. Paddington 2 goes all Empire Strikes Back, Lethal Weapon 2 or The Godfather 2 and manages to accomplish the rare act of improving upon the original film. What’s even more impressive is that Paddington 2 does this while being a family friendly film.
It goes without saying that there have been countless sequels to family friendly films. However, in that long list I can’t think of a single film that has spawned a better quality movie. In almost every case it’s done for the money or for the purpose of getting the band back together. Whether or not the public actually want the ‘band’ to get back together is another discussion altogether.
Ironically, the same could have been said for Paddington 2. The first film was very cute and our kids liked it, but it wasn’t as if their excitement for a sequel was unbearable. That’s what made the film such a sweet surprise. On every level, technical, humor, pacing and more it’s a better film that made our experience at the theater a complete joy.
This was due to the script, human actors and one minimalist bear. Hugh Grant plays Phoenix Buchanan, a once famous actor who is now doing dog food commercials and emceeing the opening of fairs. His character brings in the way that most people think of actors behaving in real life. He’s vain, has photos of himself everywhere in his house and is obsessed with his glory days. It’s also hilarious to watch, especially for adults who have followed him since the 90s.
As a script Paddington 2 knows which plot threads to follow and which ones to leave dangling. The plot revolves around a birthday present that Paddington wants to purchase, but said present gets stolen and he’s the only suspect. Paddington then goes to jail where he mulls about what he’ll get his aunt, his new friends and a suspect chef named Knuckles.
There was one scene in the film that was very funny, but in an especially dry and British way. It made me laugh because our 8 year old was the one laughing the loudest in the theater. Paddington 2 is a great film, but it’s also family friendly. This is the kind of well crafted cinema that you don’t see in live action anymore. More often than not it’s reserved for animation when it comes to movies that are geared to families.
Paddington 2 makes us want more of the fuzzy kind bear who likes marmalade, as long as the script is allowed to marinate. We also took a 6 year old to the film who laughed at the physical humor elements in the movie. Paddington 2 is rated PG for adventure sequences. There is a reason that this film now holds the record as the best reviewed movie of all-time on Rotten Tomatoes.