“Paddington wouldn’t hesitate if any of us needed help! He looks for the good in all of us.”
Directed by: Paul King
Starring: Ben Whishaw, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant
Synopsis: After settling into his new home with the Brown family in London, Paddington (Ben Whishaw) sets his sights on getting himself a job to pay for a beautiful and valuable pop-up book for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday. A book which Hugh Grant’s nefarious Phoenix Buchanan will stoop to the lowest of levels to get his mitts on too.
At the end of Paddington 2, I turned to my partner, flooding with joy-filled tears, only to find her almost entirely dry-eyed. My conclusion (and the only sensible conclusion that there was to make), was that I was, in fact, looking at a heartless monster who unbeknownst to me had replaced my partner before the film had even begun. Because anyone who’d just watched what I had and still had their emotions intact could only realistically be a changeling.
Paddington 2 is the very definition of an emotional rollercoaster. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and then laugh some more at the wonderful absurdity of it all. Larger-than-life as the world of the film may be, it’s a place you’ll be dreaming you could inhabit. A storybook version of London brought to life, with a beautifully colourful palette and a cartoonish production design that acts as an idyllic backdrop to Paddington Bear’s hearty hijinks. Played with a wide-eyed, kind-hearted wonder by Ben Whishaw, Paddington is the perfect foil to Hugh Grant’s abrupt, self-obsessed, washed up actor of a villain, Phoenix Buchanan. Even the staunchest of Grant’s critics are likely to admire his commitment here.
And as if comedy, heart, action and drama weren’t enough, Brendan Gleeson’s fantastic prison chef Nuckles McGinty is just the icing on the cake. The film is an absolute pleasure from start to finish, sure to be a family favourite for years to come…unless, of course, your family are changelings too.
Rating (out of 5):