'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' - Review - Chris At The Pictures

Sunday, 22 July 2018

'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' - Review

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

This prequel, sequel and so much more than equal to 2008’s surprise smash hit plays to every strength of its ludicrous premise, star-studded cast and indestructible jukebox soundtrack. Amanda Seyfried returns as Sophie, no longer planning the wedding of her dreams but instead a celebration for her recently passed mother and former Dancing Queen, Donna (Meryl Streep). The narrative flits between Sophie’s attempts to do right by her mother, her longing for distant Man After Midnight, Sky (Dominic Cooper) and the past flings of the young Donna (Lily James).

One might argue that having a predisposition to ABBA might make you a tad biased towards Here We Go Again (as the proud inheritor of a signature edition CD of their greatest hits, I plead guilty), but I’d argue that anyone with a beating heart would feel the same. It doesn’t matter how reluctant you feel going in, how utterly illogical the timeframes, nor how much your ears bleed from Pierce Brosnan’s crooning; the instant Seyfried lets loose the first strains of ‘Thank You For The Music’, the battle is all but lost.

The first Mamma Mia is a fun film. The second is a great one. It’s funnier (a single line from Christine Baranski damn near slew me), better-looking, genuinely well-acted and has emotion simply bursting from every pore. James is a total dream in the lead role, and her supporting cast take up the challenge with fizzing aplomb. The three younger incarnations of Sam, Harry and Bill (Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgård hand the stage to Jeremy Irvine, Hugh Skinner and Josh Dylan) are all suitably dashing. Gold stars are awarded to supporting turns from Cher (in a late appearance as Sophie’s grandmother) and Omid Djalili (playing a perfectly po-faced passport officer).

The songs are still largely crowbarred in, but this time around it’s a knowing, satisfying kind of shoehorn delivered by a script that knows exactly what you came for. Besides a smattering or reprisals, the chosen playlist is rife with a selection of underplayed classics (‘Angeleyes’ was a particular hit with my tear ducts) and pushes the boundaries of credulity beyond breaking point: the circumstances surrounding a performance of ‘Fernando’ are so incredulous that you’ll positively (if not literally) shriek with joy. And joy is the dish of the day in this smorgasbord of cheese, cheers and Cher, making Here We Go Again the surest hit of this summer: boy, is it gonna make money, money, money.

No comments:

Post a Comment