Aimed at children, Paddington 2, the delightful live action-toon sequel to 2015’s widescreen adaptation of Michael Bond’s classic books about a bear, has a wonderful star cast, ample comedy and inspirational themes which we, adults can also benefit from: such as kindness and compassion (whose wellspring is a kind and loving heart). In chapter one, Paddington was in danger of being killed and stuffed like a natural history museum exhibit. This time around, the lovable bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) with a weakness for NO, not honey; but marmalade, is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sent to jail.
There, in beautifully orchestrated, charming sequences, he wins over the criminals who resolve to help him prove his innocence. But oh, how your heart goes out to Paddington when he cries thinking that his (human) family has forgotten him. But you, the viewer, knows better since you have seen them – Father Henry Brown (Hugh Bonneville), mum Mary (Sally Hawkins), siblings Judy (Madeleine Harris) and Jonathan (Samuel Joslin) and their much loved housekeeper, Mrs. Bird (Julie Walters) – conduct their own inquiry to nab the real culprit.
Investigations begin in the home of their ex-actor neighbour, Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant) who is a real scene stealer especially when he pretends to be a nun in a convent. There’s plenty of slapstick naturally until the exciting, heart-warming finale when all seems lost. Paddington 2 is a winner. You have to have chapter 3. And 4. And more.
Cast: Hugh Grant, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters, Brendan Gleeson, Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin, Michael Gambon, Joanna Lumley, Sanjeev Bhaskar & the voice of Ben Whishaw
Director: Paul King
Rating: * * * *