“If you’re a person with a heart you’ll love Paddington 2.”
Last night I saw Paddington 2 and I loved it, but it wasn’t quite what I had expected. Paddington 2 takes place some time after the first film and follows Paddington as he is trying to earn money for a gift for his aunt. Working odd jobs around London has earned him a fair bit of money, but a wrench gets thrown in his plans when he is framed for a robbery that occurs at an antique shop. Now he has to clear his name, and get a present for his aunt.
So Paddington 2 in my opinion gets rid of all of the bad stuff from the first film; not that there was a whole lot to get rid of. The main problems I had with the first Paddington was the fact that despite being charming, it still held on to a lot of the dumb, surface level jokes that you would find in average kids movies (mainly music-related). Paddington 2 does away with all of that and instead embraces what people loved about the first film. There are still a few jokes that made me roll my eyes, but they weren’t nearly as bad as some of the jokes in the first film. The main standouts here would be a lot of the sight gags that occur when Paddington is working at the beginning of the film, which felt juvenile at times. And there were also a few reused jokes from the first film (like the ‘intense stare’ joke), but some of these acted as nice callbacks (like the security guard who loves dudes dressed like women). But these issues almost get over-corrected later in the film when I kept wondering how exactly Paddington 2 was a kids movie with a lot of the jokes being very adult. And the music was also leagues better, opting for an entirely original soundtrack that encapsulated the feel of the film perfectly.
But what made Paddington 2 so great wasn’t that it made the bad stuff good, it was that it made the good stuff better. The entire prison sequence in Paddington 2 might be some of the most charming scenes I have ever seen in a movie. I guess it was the juxtaposition of having hardened criminals hang out with a child bear, but it all made it so wholesome. The visuals were stunning, the performances were great, and it was absolutely hilarious as well. But this is where my feelings get a little confused; during the trailers a lot of the time is focused on these prison scenes which gave the idea that the film was going to be entirely stylized like them. So when Paddington 2 started and it was more of the same, I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong I loved the movie, but if the entirety of it had been as stylized and charming as the prison portion then it truly would have been magnificent. Those parts of the movie were really where the director came into his own, and to see an entire movie like that is my dream. As far as the rest of Paddington 2 goes it was very enjoyable. It was a little weird to see Sally Hawkins go swimming after watching The Shape of Water, but it also added a lot of unintentional comedy to the film. And holy shit did that ending almost move me to tears.
Overall Paddington 2 was just as charming as the first film, but with a little extra charm added in with the prison scenes. If you’re a person with a heart you’ll love Paddington 2.
I give Paddington 2 an A