I was an unashamed fan of Paddington which was released in 2014, and which definitely entered my favourite family films. So when its sequel was released, along with the adorable Marks & Spencer advert, I definitely had to go and see it.
This film returns us to Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw) and the Brown family some time after the events of the first film. Mr Brown (Hugh Bonneville) is experiencing a mild mid-life crisis, Mrs Brown (Sally Hawkins) is seeking out her own adventures having completed her children’s book, Judy (Madeleine Harris) has started her own newspaper to get over a break-up and Jonathan (Samuel Joslin) is getting ready to start secondary school. The plot really starts when Paddington is fingered in the theft of a price-less pop-up book from Gruber’s Antiques and is sent to prison, whilst the real culprit, one-time famous actor Felix Buchanan (Hugh Grant) evades capture.
Paddington 2 is just a film that you cannot help be charmed by. Paddington is wonderfully animated and his little face is just so brilliantly bought to life; it’s pretty impossible to (like the characters in this film) not to fall in love with him. It’s obviously not the most plausible film in the world, although there is plenty of mild peril for poor Paddington, it’s just a completely uplifting watching experience. London also looks stunning, with so many of its landmarks getting central viewing, and I would love to be able to live in a house like the Browns’s one day.
In terms of the performances; Hugh Bonneville is pretty great as Mr Brown who is having something of an existential crisis and it was refreshing to see Hugh Grant play someone slightly past-it, and he seemed to enjoy hamming it up. There’s also a fun turn from Brendan Gleeson as Nuckles, the prisoner chef.
If you need cheering up from the dark evenings or the unremittingly grim news, Paddington 2 will definitely do the trick.