Director Paul King delighted audiences in 2014 with his Bafta-nominated cinematic adaptation of Michael Bond's story about a Peruvian bear named Paddington. A mix of live action and CGI effects, Paddington was a charming, sweet film families found irresistible - and it's no different with this sequel.
Paddington, voiced by Ben Whishaw, is now happily ensconced in London as a member of the Brown family. He's also become a much-loved member of the community, well mostly, appreciated for his kindness and impeccable manners. Paddington's even started working so he can buy Aunt Lucy a special antique book for her 100th birthday, but when the book's stolen he's mistakenly imprisoned for the crime.
As you'd imagine, Paddington makes the most of his time in prison, working with the prison chef (Brendan Gleeson) to refresh the menu, while the Brown family, led by the quirky and overly imaginative Mrs Brown (Sally Hawkins), works to clear his name.
The narrative isn't as strong as in the first film, but it really doesn't matter; the tone is wholesome, the script snappy and clever, and there's plenty of chaotic slapstick comedy. The line-up of British thespians involved is impressive - including Hugh Grant as a "has-been" actor and the story's villain.
You shudder at how cheesy this could, and perhaps should, be, but in the hands of the British Paddington 2 is warm, witty and wonderfully eccentric. It'll certainly make you laugh, and perhaps cry, and remind you of the incredible power of kindness.
Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant
Fans of the original won't be disappointed.
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