Time: 103 Minutes
Hugh Bonneville as Henry Brown
Sally Hawkins as Mary Brown
Brendan Gleeson as Nuckles McGinty
Julie Walters as Mrs. Bird
Jim Broadbent as Samuel Gruber
Peter Capaldi as Mr. Curry
Hugh Grant as Phoenix Buchanan
Ben Whishaw as the voice of Paddington Brown
Madeleine Harris as Judy Brown
Samuel Joslin as Jonathan Brown
Director: Paul King
Settled in with the Brown family, Paddington the bear is a popular member of the community who spreads joy and marmalade wherever he goes. One fine day, he spots a pop-up book in an antique shop — the perfect present for his beloved aunt’s 100th birthday. When a thief steals the prized book, Paddington embarks on an epic quest to unmask the culprit before Aunt Lucy’s big celebration.
The first Paddington was surprisingly good, it was funny it was enjoyable, it was a really solid family movie. So I was naturally interested in a sequel and with the returning cast and crew involved with the sequel it seemed it would be good. I haven’t seen the original film in a few years but I can say that Paddington 2 is about as good as the original, with much of what make the first film work so well making a return here.
Like with the original, Paul King wrote the sequel and I’m glad that he has. Once again it balances everything incredibly well and from start to finish is very entertaining to watch. It pretty much has everything that a good family movie should have. Kids will love it and adults can enjoy this as well, it’s not just for kids. The humour is effective and will hit with everyone. It is also very sweet and whimsical but never feels cheesy or forced, it feels genuine. Paddington 2 is an hour and 43 minutes long and it’s a good length, it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome and is long enough that its satisfying. Also without spoiling anything, it has the perfect ending. Also, it’s worth staying around in the early credits, there is a fun little sequence that follows.
The returning cast were great. Ben Wishaw is still a perfect voice choice for Paddington, so likable and innocent. The Browns played by Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Madeleine Harris and Samuel Joslin were once again good here. The newer cast were also quite good. Hugh Grant was the villain here, here he plays a self obsessed and over the top actor and Grant was very into his role and was very entertaining. He’s not as threatening as Nicole Kidman’s villain from the previous Paddington, though he wasn’t meant to be, and for what Grant is doing he did a great job. Other supporting actors like Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi and Brendan Gleeson were also good, Gleeson in particular was a great addition.
Paul King, director of the original Paddington returns and once again did a great job. Visually this film is quite colourful and the direction is just right for the film. There are especially some great visual moments that are creative, one of them involves the camera moving into the pop up book with Paddington appearing inside the book. I really do think the direction deserves more credit because the way they execute certain sequences is actually quite genius. The animation on Paddington is still seamless, you know that he is not actually there and that the actors on screen are probably just interacting with a tennis ball but it never looks or seems fake.
Once again, its been a few years since I’ve seen the original Paddington so I can’t comment too much on how they compare but Paddington 2 is probably around the same level of quality. It’s fun, it’s entertaining, it’s heartwarming, and it’s great for the whole family. If you liked the first film, I can’t see why you wouldn’t like the sequel. I’m actually on board with a Paddington 3, the first 2 were so good that I can’t see why a third movie wouldn’t be at the same level of quality.