Review Roundup: Critics Weigh In On PADDINGTON 2
Following the worldwide hit PADDINGTON, one of the most successful family films of all time, this much-anticipated sequel finds Paddington (Ben Whishaw) happily settled with the Brown family in London, where he has become a popular member of the local community, spreading joy andmarmalade wherever he goes. Watch the trailer below!
While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy's hundredth birthday, Paddington sees a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber's antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it's up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief.
Reuniting many of the original film's cast while welcoming those in new roles, PADDINGTON 2 stars Golden Globe nominee Hugh Bonneville (DOWNTON ABBEY), Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins (BLUE JASMINE), three-time Golden Globe nominee Brendan Gleeson (THE GUARD, INTO THE STORM, IN BRUGES), Oscar nominee Julie Walters (BILLY ELLIOT, EDUCATING RITA), Oscar winner Jim Broadbent (IRIS), and Oscar winner Peter Capaldi (short, FRANZ KAFKA'S IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE), with Golden Globe and BAFTA Award winner Hugh Grant (FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL), and BAFTA winner Ben Whishaw (THE HOLLOW CROWN) as THE VOICE of Paddington. The starring ensemble also includes Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin, and Oscar nominee Imelda Staunton (VERA DRAKE) as THE VOICE of Aunt Lucy.
PADDINGTON 2 hits theaters this Friday. Let's see what the critics have to say!
Teo Bugbee, The New York Times: "Neighborliness is next to godliness in "Paddington 2." It's telling that the film's villain is a performer whose narcissism prohibits collaboration, a man who finds his neighbors a nuisance. For Phoenix Buchanan, the only object worth examining is his own mirror. By contrast, Mr. King and his excellent team of actors and animators spin good writing and seamless digital effects into Rococo children's entertainment. The gags don't accumulate; they tessellate. Yet the tone betrays neither effort nor arrogance - pride being a deadly sin for comedy. Instead "Paddington 2" follows the guileless lead of its earnest, ursine little tramp, suggesting tactfully that cinematic ingenuity is another way of showing good manners."
Emily Yoshida, Vulture: "The new Paddington follows the template of the first almost to the minute, but manages to inject even more fun, freewheeling energy into each beat. With the Peruvian bear officially welcomed as a permanent member of the Brown family, he now faces a new challenge: getting a job. Particularly, he needs to make enough money to purchase a rare antique pop-up book of London to send to his dear old Aunt Lucy, who never realized her dream of visiting the city, and is still back in Peru at the home for retired bears. In a wonderfully realized sequence, Paddington imagines his aunt arriving on a pop-up paper boat in the pages of the book itself, and him on the docks there to greet her. Ben Whishaw's voice performance as our titular hero is as measured and full of good faith as before; if the film was indeed simply about a bear trying to buy a book, he could make that deeply affecting."
Pete Hammond, Deadline: "What could be overbearing (sorry) kid stuff instead is wonderfully droll and charming throughout, a children's film that really does not talk down to its intended audience and should please every member of the family. The script, faithful in tone and style to Michael Bond's series of books that began in 1958, is from King and Simon Farnaby. David Heyman produced."
Scott Mendelson, Forbes: "Director Paul King proves himself a master of low-key comedic set-pieces (an early bit in the barbershop is a gem) even while crafting some genuinely thrilling action sequences (the climax is a genuinely superb action scene) when the occasion arises. His screenplay, co-written by Simon Farnaby, is filled with gentle mischief and good-natured mirth. The picture has its share of frenetic incident, but it doesn't thrive on chaos. The superb special effects make sure that its CGI protagonist mostly obeys the laws of physics, which creates a genuine believe-your-eyes plausibility."
Kate Erbland, Indie Wire: "If there's anything at all amiss in King and Simon Farnaby's screenplay, it's a slightly convoluted start that centers on the book, the carnival, Paddington's attempt to make money, and the eventual introduction of Hugh Grant's dastardly villain, evil actor Phoenix Buchanan (everyone in the movie is obviously have a wonderful time, but no one is having as good a time as Grant)."
Bilge Ebiri, Miami New Times: "Aside from being a disarming, refreshing wallow in kindness, Paddington 2 also has the benefit of being well-constructed and exceedingly well-performed. As evidenced in the first film, director Paul King knows his way around a comedic set piece - giving us just enough information to build anticipation for the big comic blowups."