Paddington (Ben Whishaw) has settled well into his life in London, beloved by the community and the Brown family he lives with. While his family are growing up and have their demons to face, Paddington remains the same accident-prone but mannerly and good-natured bear we know and love. However, his adorably clumsy ways land him into more trouble than usual when he is mistakenly accused of being the culprit of a robbery, which lands him in jail. There he meets Knuckles McGinty (Brendan Gleeson).
If you’re in the mood for something wholesome, look no further than Paddington 2. The sequel about the marmalade-loving bear is not only one of the best family features 2017 has offered so far but quite possibly the most feel-good movie of the year. It’s perfect for families, grown-ups and kids because, even if it is a bit corny and predictable, there’s never a dull moment, and there’s a purity and innocence to the film that is simply irresistible.
At its core is the thoroughly charming Paddington, who is not only flawlessly animated but in Ben Whishaw, has been brought to life by an actor who enacts the bear’s quiet determination beautifully. The rest of the delightfully British cast – Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Michael Gambon, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Bonneville, Imelda Staunton and Peter Capaldi, to name but a few – maintain the film’s energy and sense of fun throughout.
There are also a number of cameos that older audiences will get a chuckle out of, from the likes of Richard Ayoade and Joanna Lumley. Meanwhile, Hugh Grant’s casting as a worn-out actor is especially inspired, while Gleeson as the hot-tempered cook is another standout performer. Both, it ought to be noted as well, are newcomers to the movie universe, yet they fit into it to a tee.
The film’s sense of humour is childish with numerous examples of slapstick humour but the jokes come across in such an endearing way that you’ll be laughing along with the kids in no time. There is a permeable sense of joy and colour throughout the film that warm you up in a way that is akin to being wrapped up in a blanket while sipping hot chocolate. Moreover, there are a few really impressive animated sequences in the film to gawk at, one of which is inspired by a scrap book while the others give new life to the prison setting.
Overall, Paddington 2 offers a well-paced, fun-filled adventure that isn’t just for the family but for anyone looking for an uplifting cinema outing.