“Paddington 2” is the sequel to “Paddington”, the story of a CGI bear being brought up in the live-action world of London as he’s adopted by the Brown family. This movie has Paddington continuing his life with the Browns, but now he has to embark on a journey to buy an antique popup book for his Aunt’s 100th birthday, which leads to dealing with yet another over-the-top villain who wants the same book for his own greedy reasons.
The first film was a major surprise in every sense of the word. I didn’t expect that movie to be any good, but I remember seeing it a few years ago and being completely won over in how charming, funny, and enduring it was. It was a kids movie that wasn’t solely for kids. The first movie was genuinely a solid film that really delivered on being an entertaining family movie that the entire family can actually enjoy, and I’m pleased to say that the same can be said about this sequel.
The thing I like about both of these movies is that there’s not one ounce of cynicism or unnecessary darkness in either of them. This movie continues in presenting the character of Paddington as a very likable character who’s very sweet and optimistically energetic in everything he sets out to do. Not only that, but this movie has its own British charm that instantly put a smile on my face. I don’t know how exactly to describe it, but when you watch this movie and look at the bright environment that is London and all of the characters in said environment, there’s something about this movie’s tone that makes you feel happy inside. Call me cheesy all you want, but that’s just how I saw this film.
This movie also has a sense of humor that’s very enduring. It’s not what you may expect, what with so many movies like this taking the easy route and just throwing in a bunch of slapstick and childish toilet humor. What this movie does with its humor is either having funny banter between these entertaining characters, or setting up moments of Paddington messing around in a very well done, choreographed fashion that makes you feel like you’re watching a well thought out comedy skit. There’s actual thought and effort that goes into the gags in this movie and I have no shame in saying that this movie had me laughing out loud in plenty of scenes.
I also have to give major props to Hugh Grant playing Phoenix Buchanan, the main villain in the movie. My one flaw with the first movie was that I don’t think that Nicole Kidman’s antagonist was very interesting, but that’s completely different in this movie. The character of Phoenix Buchanan is an over-the-top, arrogant, washed up prick, but he has that British charm to him that’s hard to resist. His motivation even acts as a perfect contrast to Paddington and his goals. Hugh Grant owns this role in the most British way possible and I loved it for that.
My flaw with this movie was that I found the third act to be a bit overstuffed and over-the-top for its own good. It kinds of turns into an action caper film and while there’s nothing truly terrible about what happens onscreen, I was undeniably having a much more fun time watching Paddington on a much more subdued journey, whether it be hanging out in jail or just being with the Brown family.
In the end, “Paddington 2” was every bit as enjoyable, surprising, and heartfelt as the first movie. The movie will make you laugh, it’ll get your eyes watering in a couple scenes, and it’s just a fun adventure that actually puts forth effort in making it enjoyable for all ages. If we could get more January movies like this, I wouldn’t dread this time of year so much.
Rating: Full Price!