#REVIEW: “PADDINGTON 2”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Back in 2014, the screens were graced by one of the most lovable bears on the planet, Paddington. It is hard to argue the world needs him more than ever right now. Thankfully, Paddington 2 brings everything we loved about the first installment and delivers it again perfect.
The Movie starts off with Aunt Lucy (Imelda Staunton) and Uncle Pastuzo (Michael Gambon) as there is a bit of back story given to how Paddington (Ben Whishaw) came to be and wound-up in London. He lives with the Brown Family consisting of Judy (Madeleine Harris), Jonathan (Samuel Joslin), Mary (Sally Hawkins) and Henry (Hugh Bonneville) as well as Mrs. Bird (Julie Walters). Everything is going great for Paddington until Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday approaches and he wants to get her the perfect gift for her to thank her for everything she’s done for him. He stumbles across a pop-book of London in the local Antique Shop and upon realizing how much the book is decides to enter the work force to afford the gift. One quiet night The Browns, Mrs. Bird and Paddington visit Kozlova’s Circus, and this is where Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant) learns of the pop-book from Paddington. One night on his way home from work, Paddington sees someone breaking into the Antique Shop, stealing the pop-book and somehow Paddington is mistaken as the culprit and sentenced to jail. The Browns must clear Paddington’s name and he must also stay safe in prison.
Paddington 2 works so well thanks to the build-up of how much good Paddington does for the community, and how much of an impact he truly has. As this progresses, the comedy ensues as he carries-out tasks for people and tries to integrate with a stable job to buy the gift. There is just something whimsical about Whishaw’s voice that brings out a joy and warmth in Paddington. Moreover, Grant’s villainous Phoenix Buchanan is a great antagonist to the lovable bear, providing an entertaining contrast. One is a warm lovable teddy bear, the other an ogre. The returning cast of Harris, Joslin, Hawkins, Bonneville and Walters also are great in their roles, while Brendan Gleeson who plays Nuckles in the Film, brings a lot of fun and suspense to the mix.
The great performances, and heartwarming Story by Paul King and Simon Farnaby make this Film such a delight. Whether you be a child or an adult, there is joy and happiness to be experienced in Britain’s favourite bear.
Warner Bros. Pictures Canada release PADDINGTON 2 Friday, January 12, 2018.