“If we’re kind and polite the world will be right”
Directed by: Paul King
Starring: Ben Wishaw, Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson
The movie tells the story of Paddington discovering an old pop-up-book of London in an antique shop. Paddington wishes to purchase the book to send it to his Aunt for her birthday. However, this rare pop-up-book includes hints to a treasure that a reckless thief wants to find. The thief steals the book and vanishes but Paddington, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, gets accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Paddington is found guilty and has to get used to life in jail while the Brown family tries to clear his name and find the actual culprit.
The movie finds a perfect balance between amusing moments such as Paddington washing clothes in prison and accidentally including a red sock that turns all the hardened criminals uniforms pink, as well serious elements like seeing the young bear facing a court trial.
Paddington 2 is an incredibly creative, emotional and life-affirming ride that any human being with a heart and soul should watch. Watching this movie is like becoming a child again, full of ambition, curiosity and innocence. Every actor fully commits to each role they play, as opposed to simply performing an over-the-top campy character that patronizes the thought of being in a kids movie.
Ben Wishaw as the voice of Paddington does a solid job, as do Sally Hawkins and Hugh Bonneville as the parents of the Brown Family. Brendan Gleeson almost steals the show as Knuckles McGinty, a tough as nails prison lifer who is also the chef. His evil and grumpiness is feared by every inmate except one – Paddington. He is the only one to crack the heart of Knuckles and Brendan Gleeson does a fantastic job with this fun character arc.
The highlight performance of the film is Hugh Grant. He plays the villain but with that he plays a multitude of characters in different disguises to help hide his evil ways. Hugh is a throwback to actors who learned their craft on stage and were needed to play multiple roles in every performance. Each little character brings a fun smile to your face and a new respect for Grant as an actor with range.
I can’t say enough about this family film. I enjoyed it possibly more than my nine year old did. I also say this while admitting I never saw the first Paddington film. Don’t worry, my daughter caught me up on the drive over.
There are few holes in this film. It will keep your attention from start to finish, make you smile as well as tug at the heart a time or two.
If you don’t have kids go borrow the neighbors as an excuse to go see this movie. It’s cute, it’s fun and you wont be disappointed.
9 out of 10