Paddington 2

Film, Family and kids
Paddington 2

This bearish sequel will leave you with a heart so warmed, you could trek across the Antarctic in beach shorts.

However cynical a pose you try to maintain, Paddington Bear will find the chinks in your armour. Voiced with perfect innocence by Ben Whishaw and gorgeously animated by Framestore, this profoundly likeable bear consistently toes the line of maximum charm without slipping into schmaltz. Miraculously, that’s also as true of this sequel as it was of his first big-screen outing, as the film goes bigger and darker without losing focus on the small acts of kindness that make its ursine hero great.

As we rejoin Paddington and his adoptive family, the Browns, our hero is searching for the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy’s (voiced by Imelda Staunton) 100th birthday. He finds just the ticket in Mr Gruber’s (Jim Broadbent) antique shop: a unique pop-up book. But while Paddington is saving up for it, a nefarious rival steals the book and frames Paddington for the crime. It’s no great spoiler to reveal that the baddie is Hugh Grant’s faded actor Phoenix Buchanan, a flamboyant weirdo who’s calibrated his levels of high camp to within reach of the summit of Everest.

The plot has a whodunnit-and-how-do-we-prove-it element here that is a little more complex than last time, but crucially director Paul King and his co-writer Simon Farnaby once again show a perfect feel for Paddington’s humour, strengths and effect on the world. The bear’s guileless politeness even enables him to win over Brendan Gleeson’s Knuckles McGinty, the terrifying bully who rules Portobello Prison with an iron ladle. The hardman then helps our hero enact a Wes Anderson-esque prison break that even Andy Dufresne would admire.

Equally intoxicating is the setting, a sort of fairytale London where everything and everyone is a little more eccentric, colourful and friendly than reality. This city shines with a marmalade sheen, the sort of cooperative, whimsical Britain that ‘The Great British Bake Off’ and ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ would have us believe we already live in. Paddington and his world makes you feel better about ours, and gives you hope for a generation growing up with this incarnation of the late, great Michael Bond’s loveable creation. It’s a family adventure that’s the right sort of heartwarming, delivering real human emotion through the medium of a small bear.

By: Helen O’Hara

Posted:

Release details

Rated: U
Release date: Friday November 10 2017
Duration: 95 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Paul King
Screenwriter: Paul King, Simon Farnaby
Cast: Simon Farnaby
Hugh Grant
Sally Hawkins
Hugh Bonneville

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Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

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LiveReviews|6
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tastemaker

Oversees my expectations for sure, one of the few movies where #2 beats #1. Funny, emotional and spot on, with great references to real life situations and events. Watch it and have tissues next to you!

Tastemaker

In all seriousness, this is the best film released in years. Visually it's incredibly beautiful, from the imaginative animation sequences, to the stunning expressiveness of Paddington's face, to the eye-popping colours. It's a love letter to (an idealised) London, including London's embrace of foreigners. It's genuinely funny, and made me laugh out loud plenty of times, with a healthy injection of zany Mighty Boosh-ish humour. It's also deeply moving without being treacly. The calypso-tinged soundrack is wonderful. And the cast is a who's who of British acting talent, with so many favourite actors popping up in must-have-been-fun-to-film roles. A delight from beginning to end.

tastemaker

I totally enjoyed this cute film. It was better than the first! The storyline was engaging. Hugh Grant made a brilliant villain and looked as if he totally relished playing all the different characters he did. There were some nice touches in the film nodding back to the original 2D animation of the 70s/80s. All the prison scenes were hilarious. The film had some very amusing moments. 

tastemaker

Oh my goodness what a lovely charming funny film. I went with a group of 8 people ranging from 10 through teens to 50 in age. We all loved it! Even the 16 year old boy. Actually the adults in the cinema were laughing loudest as there was plenty of humour targeted very effectively at the grown up kids. Everything about it is warm and comforting - surprisingly touching in parts too - and the animation scene is fantastic.

tastemaker

At last a new feel good family film just in time for Christmas.

A really smart, well made refreshingly good British film, full of home grown talent.

Even Hugh Grant is a delight.  

Tastemaker

I was worried the sequel might not be as good as the first movie. Well, turns out, it is much better! (What?) Yes, I said it. I think Paddington 2 is even better than the first film.


Everything about it draws you in. This charming movie will make any sceptic change their mind. For sure!


Visually, it's much more polished. The framing, the colour palette... Everything gives the film a fabulously nostalgic vibe. As for the story, the gags aren't as goofy as the first film, in fact they're actually top-class comedy. If you don't at least smile, I don't know what else will get to you. But the real surprise here is the emotional depth to it all. More grown up, a little darker, a little deeper, the storyline hits you right in the feels and really deals with some strong emotions.


As for the cast, lovely as always. And the new-comers are really great too!. Knuckles is a new favourite, while Hugh Grant plays Phoenix Buchanan, an over the top hilarious mischievous actor. 

A must-see. Come on, you know you want to!