Monday, 30 April 2018

Paddington 2 ★★★★★

We live in dark times. It seems like everywhere you look, there’s hate, political incompetence and general tragedy. The world is on a slippery slope. But every now and then, sometimes comes along to make us forget all this pain and remind us that no matter how old we get, a talking bear eating a sandwich is the answer to all our problems. Back on Friday 17th April 2015, my review of the first Paddington film was published on the CeX blog. A whole 3 years later, I’m reviewing the sequel. I am older, I am wiser, and yet I’m still wishing there were more than 5 stars to throw at Paddington’s adventures. This is a simply perfect film.

Boasting a perfect 100% from almost 200 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, Paddington 2 is that rare experience that is simply impossible to criticise in any way. Every single second of the film is so lovingly crafted and performed, and full of such joy, that my face was actually hurting by the end from smiling too much. I’ve always been a big kid – hell, I still love Sesame Street – but Paddington doesn’t feel like children’s entertainment. It is a totally ageless and accessible film that feels made for absolutely everybody. This film could end wars.

Picking up where the first film ended, Paddington the lovable titular talking 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 Jim Broadbent’s shop -- the perfect present for his beloved aunt's 100th birthday. When a dastardly thief (played by Hugh Grant in a BAFTA-nominated performance) steals the prized book, Paddington embarks on a quest to unmask the culprit before Aunt Lucy's big celebration. Of course, madcap mayhem ensues, and lessons are learned…and tears will be shed, primarily of joy. 

This is a difficult film to review because I could sit here all day and just list the things that are perfect about this film – and as that is everything, we could be here a while. But hey ho, let’s go for it. The company logos are perfect! The opening credits are perfect! The first scene is perfect!...

In all seriousness, every second I spend writing this review could be better spent rewatching the film. And every second you spend reading this? Well, you know what to do. Pick up the DVD or Blu-ray, stick it in your player, and enjoy. Awaken your inner child and leave that old hateful cynic at the door. If you don’t love this film, seek medical attention because I think there’s a strong possibility you’ve got a serious problem with your soul.

This is a stunningly beautiful and charming film that makes me proud to be British. I’d happily take another Paddington film every year for the rest of my life, because with such a strong creative team and talented performers, you just know the quality would never dip. Last summer, Michael Bond – Paddington’s creator – passed away at the age of 91. I can’t imagine a more loving and fitting tribute than this masterpiece of a film. Stop whatever you’re doing and join Paddington on his adventure. You’ll thank me later. 

Sam Love

Paddington 2 at CeX

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