I must confess when I first saw that The Paddington Movie was birthing a sequel, I was not all that enthused. I mean, Paddington Bear is a lovable, hilarious, charming children’s book character, but his first movie out gave me a bad case of the SNOOZES. I found it painful to get through. Sooo when my younger two kids (who loved the first Paddington movie, BTW) announced they wanted to see Paddington 2, I hemmed and hawed a bit. But THEN, I saw that it had an unheard-of 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Seriously? Could this be true? Well, I checked into it…and it IS true. So I caved and took my seven and eleven-year-olds to see Paddington 2…so here is a Paddington 2 review from a real mom who didn’t actually want to go see it.
A Paddington 2 review from a mom’s perspective
I promise I am not going to give you too many spoilers, (well just one: marmalade is AGAIN featured heavily, LOL!) but I will tell you right off the bat that this movie is about 200 times better than the first one. It moves a lot more quickly, for one thing (though not exactly at breakneck speeds), and for this 40-year-old mom AND her tween and 1st grader, it was FULL of laughs. I legitimately LOLed several times, and I think I only laughed once in the first movie.
The movie’s writers do a great job of updating the characters of the Browns, the London family who has brought Paddington into their fold, and on developing the characters of the neighbors whose lives Paddington has improved by his mere existence. You get a really nice, funny segue from where the last movie left off and this one begins, narrated by the Bear in Question himself. The movie is very visually pleasing to the eye as well: your little kids might not appreciate the artistry that the film’s creators display when they make a pop-up book come to life in the film, but I certainly did! The London street scenes and landmark scenes are also eye candy for a cinema-lover.
Another character I thoroughly enjoyed was the villain in Paddington 2, played by Hugh Grant. He was very funny and very un-likeable, but in an endearing, love-to-hate-him kind of way. A lot of the things I liked about his character went over my seven-year-old’s head, but since PARENTS are the ones taking the kiddos to the movies, well…it’s nice of them to throw something in for us!
So, what’s my final Paddington 2 review? I REALLY liked it – I am a little embarrassed to say how much. I think maybe it’s because my expectations were set SO low after the first one, that there was no way they couldn’t be exceeded, for one thing – but they really were VERY far exceeded. Bottom line: it’s a fun family adventure with lots of good lessons about friendship, family, loyalty, hard work, and doing the RIGHT thing, and there’s nothing objectionable in it at all! I am sure my little guy will want this movie on DVD and I won’t even be sad to purchase it — or to watch it with him ad nauseum when it comes out on Netflix one day.