Paddington 2 Reviewed By Jon E Clist

The Premise
Paddington is happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy's 100th birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber's antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it's up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief.

The Review
It was kind of inevitable that such a loved character would return in a sequel. In fact, after months of speculations, on October 2015 it was confirmed that Paul King would return to helm this second installment. By the time the sequel was announced, the first Paddington film had become the highest grossing independent family film of all time, the highest grossing film in the UK among all 2014 releases, and the first family film in 10 years to be nominated for "Best British Film" at the Baftas. So, another outing for the Bear from Peru would just have to be a goer.

Now, I enjoyed the first one, but at times it felt a little slow, so I had expected the sequel to be much of the same. However, this second outing was so much better. The jokes were better, the story was more enticing and the additional cast absolute magic. One of my favourite scenes revolves around an awesome hand-crafted pop-up book that features the key tourist spots and landmarks of London. The animation in the book sequence when Paddington imagines him and Aunt Lucy traveling around London is very similar to that of the Paddington Bear TV Series that played between 1976 – 1987, in which all characters and backgrounds other than Paddington were paper cut-outs. The animation in this sequence is so tasty.

Hugh Grant plays the villain so well and it is good to see him still acting and bringing his kind of weird, quirky style being added into the mix. I remember seeing an interview with him in which he talked about pretty much leaving the world of acting due to crippling anxiety. The only thing that drew him back was the opportunity to act with Meryl Streep in the film Florence foster Jenkins. While I would never want someone to do something that made them feel uncomfortable, I am very glad he came back for this film, as he is one of the magic elements within it.

Paddington is such an epic bear and a massive character from our childhood and it is awesome that this has been brought to the big screen in a great way and that the sequel is even better! Plus, it keeps going as plans for a third film in the series were announced in June 2016, several months before this film even started filming. Although it is somewhat bittersweet as Michael Bond, creator of Paddington Bear, passed away six months before the release of this film, at the age of 91. His last book about the titular character was released in April 2017. That being said, books on Paddington have sold more than 35 million copies throughout his career. So, there is still plenty of inspiration available to keep this franchise alive for quite a long time.

The Verdict
Super funny and a stack-load of great entertainment for the whole family. This is a film that really is for all ages in all stages.

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 21st December 2017
Rating: G
Duration: 103 minutes 
Genre:  Family
Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Ben Whishaw, Peter Capaldi
Director: Paul King (Paddington)

The Extras
Nicole Kidman had at one point expressed interest in being part of the sequel but unfortunately will not reprise the role of Millicent Clyde.

The production begins on the 60th anniversary of Paddington's origin, as a 2016 start date is planned. Author Michael Bond began working on the character in 1956 and published his first book in 1958.

Creator of the Paddington books, Michael Bond, was told of the official announcement of the second film on his 90th birthday.

Paul King dropped out of directing Wonder (2017) in favor of making this film instead.

According to Ben Whishaw, production began in 2016.

Director Paul King wrote the screen story of Paddington 2 (2017) with Simon Farnaby, who had a small role in the first Paddington (2014) as Geographers' Guild security guard Barry.

Sally Hawkins first got the news of plans for a sequel to Paddington (2014) through her brother Finbar, who forwarded her the internet link to producer David Heyman talking about it.

Paddington author Michael Bond died on the last day of filming Paddington 2 (2017). He actually died the day before but his death was announced on the final day of filming. There was one further day of pickups filmed in August.

This will mark the first sequel for both Sally Hawkins and Hugh Bonneville. It's also the first sequel for Julie Walters outside the 'Harry Potter' franchise, Ben Whishaw's first outside of the 'James Bond' series and Hugh Grant's first since Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004).