Director: Ol Parker
Starring: Lily James, Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Piers Brosnan, Cher, and many, many more.
IMDB Rating: 7.3/10
Seveno Rating: 8/10
I have to start this review by saying the following: ABBA are one of the best groups to ever have existed, and the human race doesn’t deserve the wonderful music they create. Don’t @ me.
Also this movie is GOLD.
While filmed 10 years after the original, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again picks up five years after the end of the first film, and one year after the death of Donna Sheridan (Streep). Her daughter, Sophie (Seyfried), is preparing for the grand re-reopening of the Hotel Bella Donna, which she has renovated in honour of her mother. Sam (Brosnan) now lives on Kalokairi as her step father, and has helped with the renovations. Everyone is invited to the opening, and Donna’s old friends Tanya (Christine Baranski) and Rosie (Julie Walters) have already arrived. Interspersed throughout this storyline, we see flashbacks to Young Donna (James) as she graduates from Oxford in 1979 and decides to travel Europe, meeting Young Harry (Hugh Skinner) in Paris, Young Bill (Josh Dylan), and Young Sam (Jeremy Irvine) along the way. The film features the beloved ABBA classics Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen, and Waterloo, as well as some lesser known classics such as Andante, Andante and Why Did It Have To Be Me?.
On a technical level, this sequel feels a lot more slick than the original film. The choreography looks more polished, the scene transitions are a lot cleaner, with lovely parallels between the 1970s scenes and the modern day scenes. Also, it seems that decisions have been made to give the big solos to actors who can actually sing, as opposed to in Mamma Mia when Colin Firth and Piers Brosnan’s musical talents where definitely not impressive (to say the least).
But, more importantly, this film hits all the spots on an emotional and atmospheric level. The Greek Islands provide a captivating backdrop for fun musical numbers and amusing dialogue. Julie Walters is hilarious throughout, while Lily James is so gorgeous its impossible not to love her. The music is fantastic, the characters are lovable, and the acting is good, and it pulls so effectively at your heart-strings (when you see this, don’t forget the tissues). It’s such a feel-good summer film, and it is everything a fan could’ve wanted and more in a sequel that many have been looking forward to for months.
However, the reason this film doesn’t score a full 10/10 in my opinion is solely down to the trailer. The plot of the film isn’t very sophisticated, and isn’t as surprising as that of the first film. And the trailer, sadly, gives away the entirety of the plot. Sophie’s pregnancy announcement had the potential to be the big, happy, end-of-the-film surprise, however the trailer immediately spoils the surprise. Also, Cher’s arrival at the Bella Donna is spoiled by the trailer, however this is more forgivable, as Cher’s presence in the film will have been a significant audience draw. It would have been nice, as an audience member, if there were more surprises in the film, because if you don’t want to pay for the ticket to see the film, you can just listen to the soundtrack and watch the trailer and you’ve basically seen the whole thing. (But I recommend you go and see it because you’ll laugh and you’ll cry and you’ll forget about all your worries).