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Unbelievably good, brings back all those Paddington memories
NikolaiDante13 November 2017
I used to read all the Paddington books when I was a small boy and my wife when she was a little girl. We both loved all the crazy escapades that Paddington got into and he did it all with a good heart.

I very much enjoyed seeing the first Paddington but did feel it wasn't quite Paddington with the scary woman and the scary scenes.

Paddington 2 completely captures the essence of the the books and really wrings out the most of some of the characters.

Brendan Gleeson is superb as the 'nasty' Knuckles who quickly warms to Paddington. This might sound far-fetched but the whole film is very childish. Now that's not childish in the sense of "silly and immature" but in the other definition of "appropriate to a child". The whole film shows and plays scenes as a child might imagine things to be - for example how the prison works and especially the lovely idea that the warden reads the inmates a bedtime story to help them all get to sleep.

There are superb performance from all the actors and a huge number of cameos. Even the small scenes put in by the like of Joanna Lumley and Rob Brydon are clearly done with great love from the actors. Hugh Grant puts in a superb over the top performance as the baddie, which really let him flex his vocal talents!

The whole film is done in bright colours and with a superb musical backing track. When you are watching the film be careful to pay attention to all the small details, such as the newspaper headlines and the To Do list in the Brown's Kitchen, there a huge number of little jokes in the background and I suspect I'll spot a whole load more when I watch this again on Blu-Ray!

Not really spoilers but there is only one really 'scary' scene near the end but it is so beautifully done and you know that Paddington will win so even the little ones won't cry. And make sure you stay for ALL the credits as they play out to an amazing "what happened after" montage.

I have noticed that that at the time of writing this review there were 927 votes and 15 people have given the film a 1-star. Now I know everyone is entitled to their opinion but in this case I suspect these people might not really understand Paddington and what he's all about, if you have young children and they love Paddington then they will love this film.

This film is suitable for young children aged 4 to 104 :)

Let you into a secret, when my wife and I went to watch this film there were a lot of people in the cinema but not one was under 18! From the looks of it the audience was aged 20 - 80!

I cried and I laughed through the whole film and rekindled my inner Paddington.
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602nd review: A Superb Children's Movie
intelearts12 November 2017
Paddington 2 really is a fine children's movie. In fact, I would go as far as to say one of the best children's movies I have seen. It is not just charm and whimsy and genuine laughs though it has those in buckets - it is a real plot, and a solid caper movie to boot. By building on an ingenious crime element and real plotting it has turned from a sentimental journey to something more. As an avid reader of the books as a child, the main worry is the spirit of the bear who believes in the good in everyone, while creating untold chaos around him, will get lost to serve the storyline or some idea of updating Paddington. Luckily, none of the spirit is lost, and instead, we have an immensely enjoyable, fun, funny, and charming film. The whole family loved it - and we all laughed, cried, and cheered. Just be sure to stay seated for the credits. A really excellent children's film.
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For once a sequel that doesn't disappoint
trevorwomble10 November 2017
I was hugely surprised at just how good the first film was and was tentatively cautious when this sequel was green-lighted that perhaps it might cheapen Michael Bond's beloved family friendly creation.

However, fear not, for this sequel is absolutely terrific on all levels. Firstly it is as funny and witty and as brilliantly animated as the first film. The excellent cast from the first film is also enhanced by a superb turn from Hugh Grant, who hasn't been as good as he is here in a long time. In fact it is quite clear to the viewer that Grant is thoroughly enjoying himself by playing against type and sending himself up as a faded egotistical actor and total cad who sets Paddington up to be the fall guy (or should that be Bear?) for a dastardly deed. There is a touch of the pantomime villain to his performance, but it works splendidly and it fits his character perfectly.

All the wit and heart of the first film is still evident here and in some ways, built upon. Brendan Gleeson is also excellent as an old lag and prison cook who loses his angry nature when he succumbs to Paddington's charms and talents in the kitchen. There are also loads of great jokes too, some pitched at younger children and some deliberately aimed at the more adult viewer.

All in all this is a worthy sequel and a great memorial to Paddingtons creator, Michael Bond, who died whilst this sequel was still being filmed. It is full of laughs, thrills, action sequences, great characters, some wonderful animation (one scene is an obvious nod to the 2D paper cut-outs of the human characters in the 1970s children's TV show) and you would have to have a hard heart indeed to not burst into tears at the wonderful ending. Also, don't leave the film until you watch Hugh Grant gloriously send himself up with a musical song and dance act as the end credits roll.

Thoroughly recommended to anybody who wants to see 100 minutes of family friendly fun that isn't either sickly sweet or too dark for youngsters and still thoroughly watchable to adults too. Great fun and a worthy sequel to one of the best British films in recent years.
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One of the year's biggest delights
TheLittleSongbird10 November 2017
Loved the first 'Paddington', was not sure whether that would be the case but it turned out to be one of that year's biggest surprises and delights. Was enthused about hearing that there was a sequel with the same crew returning, always a plus when it comes to sequels, but there was the concern as to whether it would fall victim to "sequel-titis".

Very luckily, 'Paddington 2' does not fall victim to that. It is one of not many sequels to actually be equal in quality to its predecessor and come close to being even better. It maintains all of 'Paddington's' heart, fun and charm, maintaining everything that made that film so good, and even builds on that appeal. For such a hit-and-miss year and seeing my fair share of overblown big-budget blockbusters with little soul, films that waste great premises and films that attempted laugh-a-minute laughs and doing it in a way that came at the expense of heart, 'Paddington 2' was a much needed refreshment. Not saying at all that it has been a completely bad year, actually there have been very good to great films, just that 'Paddington 2' stood out in the best of ways in recent weeks.

Maybe it could have been ever so slightly longer and would have again liked to have seen more of Mr Curry and his acrimonious relationship with Paddington. Everything else is magic.

'Paddington 2' once again looks great. It's beautifully shot and vibrant in design with a little bit of grit and Paddington as to be expected couldn't have looked more perfect. The music score is suitably soothing, rousing and whimsical, while the direction keeps things moving at a bright and breezy pace. A pace that never slows down but doesn't ever feel too hasty either.

Scripting is also spot on. The comedic moments are incredibly funny, the best of it hilarious, with rapid-fire wit, endearing quirkiness, clever gags that don't feel like pale retreads of before and perfectly pitched misunderstandings and physical comedy. Underneath all the humour and the darker and more suspenseful mystery/action-oriented elements of the story is a big heart and strong emotional core, with some lovely inspiring messaging and values that are very much current and some touching parts. It's also incredibly intelligent, not many films this year have treated its audience with the amount of respect that 'Paddington 2' has, and has such an endearing innocence.

A large part of that is the character of Paddington himself. Can't fault his design or Ben Whishaw's beautiful voice acting, nor can one fault his truly adorable personality, absolutely love how he tries to still remain even in the grimmest of situations and he is easy to root for and love throughout. The story may on the slight side structurally but has a lot going on, without being cluttered, that makes it very much eventful and to me there weren't any tonal issues.

Every ounce of the heart, charm and fun seen in 'Paddington' is here and everybody gets a chance to shine, especially Mr Brown and Mrs Bird of Paddington's family. The new characters are great additions, with a superior villain and the character of the cook Knuckles being one of the film's nicest surprises. Only Mr Curry could have been done better.

Performances across the board are great. Hugh Bonneville balances comedy and drama with ease, Sally Hawkins is compassionate and Julie Walters is a hoot. Jim Broadbent is always a welcome presence and the younger actors are appealing. Brendan Gleeson excels in a departure role, a dramatic actor in a more comedic role in a family-friendly film could have gone wrong but Gleeson brings a curmudgeonly charm and great comic timing. Hugh Grant is also cast against type and brilliantly sends up himself and the world of acting. This is Paddington's film though.

Overall, an absolute delight and refreshing. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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Practically perfect Paddington production
ramonster_uk20 November 2017
I was an unexpected fan of the first Paddington movie, walked into it expecting not to enjoy it, but I was proved wrong. When I heard that a sequel was coming, I just hoped it would retain the magic of the first and it did, with a cherry on top! This movie invoked the inner child within me and was just a perfect viewing experience for this time of the year.

The casting was genius, featuring many well known British actors, in roles big and small. It was like a gathering of all the best of British, all having the best of time together. A huge hats off to Hugh Grant, pure brilliance!

The imagination that went into this movie and the skill that managed to put this across to the audience was second to none! You will find yourself being absorbed into this world and will not want to leave. I've read some people complaining that this isn't what London is like today, but this is exactly how London was in my childhood mind, where fantasy and reality met. Don't let go of your imagination, suspend reality and just enjoy.

I cannot recommend this movie highly enough. You will laugh and you will cry. Go see it, on your own, with your partner or with you family, you won't be disappointed.
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Pure bearfection 10/10
pobox85421 November 2017
To think I had second thoughts about even going to see this !

A perfect film in all ways suitable for all the family for children 8 months to 80 years and beyond .

A total delight . Cinema-photography was excellent, giving an interesting nostalgic feel set in modern times , at times you felt you were being transported back to your childhood in the 1950s - 1970s with many aspects such as steam trains and Victorian architecture and prisons - the Hugh Grant Phoenix Buchanan character was almost as if Terry Thomas had been reincarnated to play the role! Shots of Windsor gardens and the Shard juxtapositioned the tourist view of London old and new .

The theme of good versus evil reigned supreme throughout . Together with love conquers all and community spirit . Michael Bond the author sadly died in Paddington on the last day of filming never reaching the age of Aunt Sally but at 91 he lived a long life and left us with a masterpiece .

The cast was absolutely superb - the animation top notch - you'd forget that Paddington is a bear as did the characters at times - watch the credits right to the end for Hugh camping it up to the max .

Superb - you'll love it

Pad.A 10/10'
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Somehow - and thankfully - as good as the first
rogerdarlington13 November 2017
I loved "Paddington" and - to my delight - I loved "Paddington 2" too.

Of course, we start with the adorable character created by Michael Bond (who died between the release of the two films), the brilliant CGI representation of our furry friend, and the purr-fect voicing by Ben Wishaw. This is such a British franchise with so very many British character actors (OK, and one Irish) and so many London locations, although this is the kind of gentle London that we saw in "Notting Hill" (most notably in the prison scenes). Indeed the villain this time is less threatening than Nicole Kidman's character in the first film and played brilliantly by the ever-so- English star of "Notting Hill", Hugh Grant, who - following his success in "Florence Foster Jenkins" - shows that he is not just a pretty face.

The film is endlessly inventive, not least in bringing to life a pop-up book of London landmarks which is at the heart of the plot, and it is stuffed full of visual gags as well as so many funny lines, a few aimed at adult viewers rather than little ones. My granddaughter (almost seven) found it delightful with one of her favourite scenes being Paddington's window-cleaning efforts. Be sure to stay for the credits - a final delight in 100 happy minutes.
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Alanjackd12 November 2017
For starters ..I have given a 10 for this as a family movie and nothing else.

As family movies go you won't get better. A delight from start to finish with everything you could possibly .baddies..robbery ...everything.

Everybody hams it up perfectly..and also some of the direction and animation is actually very awesome.

Perfect family trip to the cinema here for young and old.

One thing to the drama of the Weinstien troubles...some expected a boycott here..nothing of it at all..the theatre was rammed at every showing..I don't know what that tells us but I thought it was worth mentioning!!
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Stellar Film For All The Family.
hannahjodie28 January 2018
Paddington 2 Did Not Dissapoint. The Cast Is Stellar (Very Good). The Characters Are Very Likeable. This Film Is For Both Adults & Children As It Has The Appropriate Humour At The Right Time. Plot Is Also Very Good And Delivered Very Well As All The Actors Brilliant. This Film Is Not A Waste Time And Is Better Than The First One. This One Is Aimed At A Wider Range Of Audiences.
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Great sequel
jshoesmithkr12 November 2017
The first Paddington film was cleverly made but just wasn't long enough. This film however lasted longer and had way more to it which made it better. Phoenix as the villain was kind of better than Millicent as he was more cunning. Knuckles was a great addition, how you couldn't like him is just wrong, if you like Knuckles The Echidna then you'll like Knuckles McGinty.

Mr Curry could have done more although they gave Mr Gruber a more dominant role like in the books. The scenes were mainly funny. Judy was attractive like in the last film but three years' film difference can emphasize how much actors can change, especially Johnathan and Judy. The prison bit was a bit like Muppets Most Wanted as Paddington befriends his cell mates and then they start to enjoy themselves and then at the end they help his escape, only difference is that some of them join him. Overall a 9/10 for this film. Can't wait for Paddington 3.
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michellesusankelly18 November 2017
I watched and enjoyed the first Paddington movie but have to say that , unusually for a sequel, this is better. I found all the characters so endearing, the story was fantastic, a great number of cameos, and hats off to the actors all great. Beware, a hankie may be needed during this film, and I have to say, best movie I have seen this year. Wonderful family movie.
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You'll believe a bear can fly
iandbaldwin19 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
From the opening moments to the end credits this film is a fitting epitaph to the author Michael Bond. I can honestly say this is the best "children's" film I have seen since Mary Poppins when I was 6. Like a very good marmalade it is bitter sweet, with moments of comedy that will have tears of laughter running down your cheek and moments of pathos that will do the same - a good thing I was in a darkened cinema. The animators are the star (Paddington) but special mention must be made for Hugh Grant who throws everything at this Oscar worthy role (Don't leave before the end credits or you'll miss one of the best moments) and Brendan Gleeson is suitably menacing and lovable at the same time.

Spoiler Alert :- The film flashbacks to Peru when Paddington was rescued by Aunt Lucy and Uncle Pastuzo from a fast flowing river. When you see the quality of the animation of this scene you know you are seeing movie platinum. The pop up book that Paddington wants to buy and send to Aunt Lucy for her Birthday present comes to life at the Quayside with Paddington welcoming his aunt to London and showing her the sights - these scenes are inspired and worth the admission price alone. When Paddington gets sent to prison for being wrongly accused of stealing the pop up book his transformation of the prison and the chef Nuckles McGinty (Gleeson) is amazing - and it all starts with marmalade. There are too many other excellent scenes to mention but when Paddington has been cleared and released from prison and is back home he goes to the front door to open it and at this point, thanks to first rate animation throughout, you will believe a bear can fly.
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Amazing, suitable for all
tahemairis26 November 2017
With no shame in saying so, i teared up at the end of this beautifully crafted family-flick. There i was, a 20 year old, sitting in between at least 8 ten year olds, cheering for the charming Brown family and of course, the adorable Paddington.

It is a delight for all, with clever and tasteful British humour that will satisfy all viewers, from 5 year olds (i actually witnessed a 5 year old laughing her heart out at the screening i was at) to full grown adults (many parents and also my mom who i was seeing this movie with, had a blast seeing many, more adult- oriented, but still appropriate and child-friendly themes throughout the movie).

The casting is great, plenty of A-lister Brits give an endearing performance and for not once will you think they did it for an easy paycheck. The film is pleasant for the eyes and has a positive, vibrant color-scheme. The plot is good, does not have that well- feared "sequel syndrome" (which i was indeed a bit sceptical about before buying the ticket) and can very well stand on its own.

This movie provides an important lesson of kindness and understanding and is a deeply moving depiction of family, community and motherly love. Perfect film to warm you up for the winter ahead.

Go and see it, you won't have an ounce of regret later!
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alcantaraj-1659421 July 2018
"Paddington 2" is as sweet, funny and heartwarming as the first one. The cast's performances (and Ben Whishaw's voice acting) is equal if not better than the previous film. Hugh Grant is a funny, charming and welcome addition to the cast
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A perfect family film
benpeyton10 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Paddington 2 Written by Ben Peyton @BenPeyton007 10th November 2017

Ben Whishaw swaps James Bond for Michael Bond's Paddington Bear in the sequel to 2014s hugely successful Paddington, simply named Paddington 2. Simply named, but ingeniously signalled by Paddington himself in the film's opening.

In search of the perfect gift for his Aunt Lucy, Paddington discovers an old pop-up book in Mr Gruber's antique shop and takes on a series of odd jobs to pay for it. When the book is stolen, Paddington enlists the help of the Brown family and some new-found friends to retrieve it and unmask the thief.

Director, Paul King, unveils some wonderfully creative moments; an interactive sequence involving the pop-up book utilising some of London's most famous landmarks, a hilarious slap-stick Mr Bean-esque barber scene, a beautifully lush tropical jungle sprouting from a single tear and concluding with an exciting train-top chase reminiscent of Skyfall. Seriously.

Joining King are writers Simon Farnaby and Jon Croker. Their terrific script makes full use of the glittering cast's comedic talent and they all seem to be having an absolute blast.

None more so than Hugh Grant as washed-up thespian, Phoenix Buchanan. Grant plays a plethora of characters and it's a welcome reminder of just how good an actor he is. The twinkle in his eyes, lacking from some of his films over the years, that infectious grin and his positively charming accent are cranked up to 11 and he lights up the screen whenever he appears. Whether he's a not so noble knight or a surprisingly attractive nun, Grant is having a ball as his pantomime performance hits all the right notes.

Brendan Gleeson also has free reign to exaggerate his character, a grizzly convict by the name of Knuckles McGinty, to superb effect. Gleeson leads a host of some of Britain's best comedy actors, including Tom Davis and Noah Taylor, to make their jailhouse rock.

Leading the way as the voice of Paddington, Ben Whishaw's impeccably pitched innocence, naivety and comic timing, combined with some exceptional CGI make you forget you're watching an animation.

The supporting characters are all played to perfection by an impressive ensemble cast including, Julie Walters, Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville and Jim Broadbent with excellent turns by Tom Conti, Peter Capaldi, Joanna Lumley and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.

Dario Marianelli's delightful score is also a highlight, with a There's Something About Mary style band, Tobago and d'Lime, appearing every now and then to belt out a tune.

Paddington 2 is a joyful smile all the way through. I grinned and would happily bear it again. The ending, although predictable, is surprisingly moving and the perfect conclusion to a wonderful family film full of charm and love. As Aunt Lucy would say, "If we're kind and polite, the world would be right." It's a simple message and one we could all learn from.

Oh, and do stick around for a little treat during the credits. Prison has never looked so much fun!
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One of the finest feel-good family films
jezfernandez17 February 2018
The original Paddington movie was a surprise hit and this follow-up is close to storytelling perfection. It has a simple plot - Paddington is saving up to buy his beloved aunt a pop-up book of London, only the book contains a treasure map and dastardly Hugh Grant wants his hands on it. Cue a series of unfortunate events which see the loveable bear banged up in chokey with Brendan Gleeson, while his beloved family pull out all the stops to clear his name.

What makes this film such a delight is the ensemble of truly likeable characters and the writers' steadfast commitment to making this fun. Example? Paddington wins over the entire prison by serving homemade marmalade sandwiches. Hugh Grant is the villain, but he too is rather loveable.

This is a movie infused with fantasy, charm and innocence, bursting with genuine laugh-out load performances (such as Richard Ayoade's 2 minute turn as a forensic witness, or Tom Conti's unfortunate haircut victim).

Through it all is a theme of pure loyalty and commitment - the unstoppable lengths that people will go to for the ones they love.

This is no quick cash-in. The effects are phenomenal, especially Paddington's virtual tour through the pop-up book, and every aspect of the film shows loving care and attention.

I defy you not to shed one tear during this terrific adventure, which is right up there with Toy Story 3 for sequel success. If you're in need of a reminder that this world still has a good measure of love and beauty, go spend a couple of hours with the Browns. You won't regret it.
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Paddington can change your life!
adliquidmetal9 January 2018
A must watch and on top of it, It does not disappoints at all. A great family movie and some good messages in the world which we really need right now.
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Delightful, fun and very entertaining
Gordon-117 January 2018
This film tells the story of Paddington Bear who is imprisoned for a break in that he has not done. He has to clear his name, with the help of his family and his new friends.

"Paddington 2" is delightful, fun and very entertaining. It is great to see Paddington Bear being so polite and kind all the time, which sets a great role model for children. His adventures are entertaining and thrilling as well. The final scene is very touching I enjoyed watching it.
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Paddington 2 is amazing!
Fadi_Michel12 December 2017
The first movie was in my opinion the greatest family movie in recent years. Surprisingly, the sequel is better!

Ben Whishaw as Paddington is still amazing. Hugh Grant is GREAT! I want to see him more in this type of roles. Brendan Gleeson is excellent. All the other characters from the first movie have strong presence here.

The movie is extremely funny and entertaining. You may notice some similarities between this and the first movie but the script and the direction took everything one step forward and deliver pure joy and entertainment. This is a strong achievement.

I left the cinema with a big smile on my face. I really enjoyed every minute in it.
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Even better than the first!
thechriscloud7 April 2018
Spoiler Free Even better than the first! One minute I'm cracking up, one minute I'm tearing up and the whole time my jaw is on the ground from the visual effects. Great for the whole family. The music is so beautiful and creative. The writing and scene composition is so amazing and thought out. Just like the first, you just love Paddington and every character surrounding him. I hope they make a third!
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Kirpianuscus22 March 2018
First, for the new actors. and for adventures of little bear. and for the patience to say, in fair way, the story. result - a nice film. about values, virtues . using a splendid villain - and the opportunity for Hugh Grant to give a great role- and creating the touching end. it is more than a good adaptation. it represents a delight. and the old fashion flavor is one of basic motifs.
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The Rare Sequel That Improves Upon the First
bkrauser-81-31106419 January 2018
As hacky is it is to start a review comparing a new movie to food, the charm of this one pretty much begs for it. Thus if all family-oriented adventure films are to be compared to some form of cheese, Paddington 2 is like an artisanal muenster in that it is immediately engaging, rich with flavor and has a potential for gooeyness but never goes overboard. Also, orange rinds have something to do with it.

This film starts with the well-meaning Peruvian bear happily acclimated and settled with the Brown family in their posh and homey London neighborhood. As a bastion of courteousness, Paddington (Whishaw) still sends letters regularly to his dear aunt Lucy (Staunton) who will be turning 100 in the next few weeks. As a result, Paddington pursuits a rare pop-up book he'd like to send as a gift. Unbeknownst to him, the book holds the key to a hidden treasure which has been hunted for ages by the nefarious Phoenix Buchanan (Grant), former star of the stage and screen.

Those who delighted in the warmth and wit of the original Paddington will find just as much to enjoy in this playful continuation. Paddington 2 takes full advantage as a sequel by immediately feeling more lived-in and comforting to those in the know, while still remaining as welcoming as ever to outsiders who are just now hopping on the bear's bandwagon. More impressively, it also retains the same emotional intelligence, thematic clarity and childlike wonder in such a way that it feels almost dirty to call something like this a "sequel" to a "franchise".

It'd be more appropriate to simply say that Paddington 2 is a joy to watch, with the only obvious negative being that it remains unassuming and modest when it should be shouting its ability to engage from the rooftops. There is an able effort to shake the material from humility in the form of Hugh Grant who positively oozes charisma and is a gas to see chewing the scenery. The film lightly lampoon's Grant's off-screen persona by having the villain vamp against mannequins, sporting costumes of roles long past. It's a fun role but the ensemble isn't as all in as he is. This is not to say Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Jim Broadbent and Brendan Gleeson aren't good, they're just left in the dust a lot of the time. There's also a few deus ex machina moments that lit up my pessimistic adult brain, but in a movie that has a full on jailhouse musical number, I'm willing to forgive the wayward assumption that good things can actually happen to good people (and bears). All in all, Paddington 2 is a charming affair - one which takes the daintily assembled world of the first and builds on it with heedless aplomb. In many ways it's a comfort for these increasingly cynical times. It serves as stark reminder that while adversity always abounds, a little bit of gumption and politeness can make this world just that much more pleasant.
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Paddington 2: Could a sequel be better than the original? This one is!
brankovranjkovic14 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This is a CGI animated film sequel of the charming bear character called Paddington, the bear who always looks for the good in people. In this film we see that one year on from the original film Paddington has really become part of the Brown family and very much part of the local community.

Paddington is looking for the perfect present for his Auntie Lucy's 100th birthday, he sees a pop-up book in an antique shop, but it's very expensive (£500). None-the-less, he decides to buy it as his Auntie only ever wanted to see London, so this seems perfect. Paddington needs to do a string of different odd jobs to earn the necessary money to buy the book, all with disastrous slap-stick comedy consequences. The book also provides clues to the location of some treasure.

Late one night Paddington witnesses the book being stolen from the shop, he chases the villain but he escapes. The police arrive on the scene and have no alternative but to convict Paddington, the Brown family need to clear Paddington's name and find the thief.

Whilst in prison, which is colourful and largely resembles The Grand Budapest Hotel, Paddington makes friends with several of the eccentric inmates, his exchanges with them are all hilarious including some use of the famous 'hard stare'. Paddington manages to break out with three other inmates, they (and the Browns) are now in pursuit of the book thief. Of course they catch the devious thief, and recover the book.

Go see this gem of a film, generally better than the original with a who's who cast of British acting royalty, and an emotional ending.

Stay for the closing credits for a comedy dance sequence. Very highly recommended.
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mccatllar30 January 2018
Great cast, super story and a cuddly bear...what's not to like?

Seriously, it's extremely well made and very funny. A great film that everybody of all ages can thoroughly enjoy.
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A charming, hilarious and superior sequel
tomgillespie200218 March 2018
Paul King's Paddington was one of the great surprises of 2014: a re-imagining of a world-famous character beloved not only to children, but to the adults who grew up reading Michael Bond's stories or watching the various television incarnations since the 1970s. Aesthetically, it shared very little in common with the charmingly old-fashioned and quaint little adventures penned by Bond and illustrated by Peggy Fortnum, but shared much of its heart. Most who saw Paddington fell quickly under its spell, which was a wonderful amalgamation of Wes Anderson and Jean-Pierre Jeunet's proudly artificial visual splendour and the stiff upper lipped playfulness of Ealing Studios. This sequel's arrival is more than welcome, if not only to make us forget what's happening out there in the real world, but to allow us to spend more time in the company of Ben Whishaw's endearingly clumsy yet optimistic bear.

In almost every way, Paddington 2 is an improvement on its predecessor. The return of King and his co-writer Simon Farnaby is a no-brainer, and they have not only grown in confidence and in their willingness to push their kooky boundaries even further, but they have fixed what was arguably a weak link first time around - the villain. Nicole Kidman had a ball as evil taxidermist Millicent Clyde, but here they have tried something less terrifying for kids in Phoenix Buchanan, a washed-up thespian who dreams of bringing his one-man show to the West End, but finds himself in humiliating dog-food television adverts instead. Casting Hugh Grant was a stroke of genius, and it's no stretch to say that this is the finest he has ever been. He's pompous and full of himself, but takes pride in his ability to disappear into his characters. His desire to spark his festering career back to life leads to the theft of a valuable pop-up book from the store of Mr. Gruber (Jim Broadbent), which holds clues to the location of a treasure chest hidden somewhere in London.

Phoenix Buchanan may steal the film, but the attention rarely strays too far from the titular hero, who is once again voiced pitch-perfectly by Whishaw. He was Colin Firth's last-minute replacement first time around when the Kingsman actor's efforts didn't quite feel right, and it's difficult to imagine any other actor behind Paddington's soft features and wide-eyed curiosity. When we first meet him, it's clear that the charming little bear's community wouldn't quite function without him. The Brown family, again played by Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters et al, are happily getting on with their lives, although dad Henry is experiencing a midlife crisis at work and with his ageing appearance. With Aunt Lucy's 100th birthday coming up, Paddington finds the perfect present in the pop-up book of London in Mr. Gruber's store, which he hopes will compensate for the elderly bear never being able to see the big city for herself. He starts to work odd jobs to save up for the pricey gift, but all suspicion falls on Paddington when Buchanan steals the book for himself.

He is sentenced to ten years in prison for the crime, and if that seems unnecessarily harsh, you'll understand why when you see the film. This may seem like a somewhat grim direction for a family film to take, but thanks to a mishap involving a stray red sock in the laundry room, the scenes within the jail are some the film's funniest. This is also thanks to the character of Knuckles McGinty, the fearsome chef played brilliantly by Brendan Gleeson who Paddington naturally befriends over some marmalade sandwiches. Paddington 2 is unashamedly fanciful stuff, presenting a fantasy vision of London where the sun always shines and people on the street always greet you with a smile. It's an image many foreigners will no doubt have of the capital, but there's nothing wrong with playing up to this, especially when the film's fantasy sequences are quite as wonderful as they are. Production designer Gary Williamson and animation director Pablo Grillo are a crucial part of this, and King, who always displayed a flair for the fantastical in his early TV work, surely also had a hand in Paddington 2's overall magical feel.
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