Paddington 2 – Un-Bear-lievably Enjoyable

Runtime: 95mins | Director: Paul King | Rating: 5 Stars

Whilst this review may not be the longest I’ve written, it’s in line with the tone of Paddington 2 - uncomplicated, yet extremely enjoyable. Having recently written reviews on films such as Blade Runner 2049, Battle of the Sexes, and Loving Vincent, it’s nice to finally be able to write a review on a film which doesn’t involve deep thinking, sustained attention or nuanced sub-plots. Paddington 2, instead, is an incredibly fun and amusing film which is as much of a pleasure for adults as it is the children they will presumably take. (Unless you’re like me, who went to see it regardless of not having a child. I’m still a big kid.)

Having seen the first Paddington instalment and fallen in love with it due to its humour, innocence and quintessentially British nature, I couldn’t resist attending its sequel. Unfortunately, though, the cynic in me assumed it could never have held a candle to its predecessor – how wrong I was. Being entirely honest, it’s not possible to distinguish which of the two is better as they are equally brilliant and enjoyable - something not commonly said about sequels, which more often than not dwindle in comparison.

The film picks up from where we left the Brown family last - we then discover Paddington is on the hunt for a birthday present for his Aunt Lucy. Being the picky bear he is, however, he wants to get her something she’ll treasure forever. Paddington eventually decides on a beautiful pop-up book of London. Unfortunately, the book is rather expensive which requires Paddington to try and find a job to save for it. Having settled on a career of window cleaning after several other failed ideas, the night before he manages to earn the large sum, a thief steals the book and frames Paddington resulting in his arrest. Whilst Paddington is in jail, the Brown family attempt to clear his name and restore justice.

Whilst this may seem a simple and un-convoluted plot, this is no bad thing. Regardless of complexity, Paddington 2 still manages to be extremely funny and incredibly charming. Director, Paul King, has a way with comedy that not many others do - his comedic timing is textbook and couldn’t be better if he tried. Whether this involves Paddington innocently chasing after a burglar on the back of a bedraggled hound to later be framed for a robbery, or Hugh Grant self-indulging in his characters’ acting abilities in the campest way imaginable, nothing oversteps the mark moving it from endearingly funny to awkward.

The main reason this film is so enjoyable, however, is that it has an innocence to it which most other films don’t. It’s rooted in a childhood ignorance and assumption that everything will end up okay regardless of the circumstances, and due to the wonderful world Michael Bond created, that is nearly always the case! Whether it’s breaking into someone’s house and being discovered with no consequence, or being thrown in prison and making friends with even the most intimidating of inmates, Paddington is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise cynical and unforgiving world.

All in all, Paddington 2 is the sequel every film deserves, and one I would recommend to everyone – especially as a potential outing for the family. Not only will it make you smile, laugh and cry, but it will leave you feeling reinvigorated. It’s a film absolutely everyone can enjoy, and if they don’t, I’d question them rather than the film. Also, as a long-time fan of the books, it’s a pleasure to see them having cinematic justice - something which could have very easily gone wrong. 


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