Let me start off by saying that our family–all 5 of us… from ages 7 to 44–absolutely loved the first Paddington movie when we happened to have the good fortune of seeing it. We had no expectations, and we loved every single minute of that sweet and funny film. We have watched it many more times at home. That being said, we were really excited when we started seeing the posters around town for Paddington 2. I actually had no idea they were making a sequel until I drove the kids by a bus stop, and we saw the little bear staring back at us.
This movie started out with the exact same feeling and vibe as the first one, and it never let up. In this film, we get to see Paddington settled into his life in London with the Brown family and he even heads off to work, (a beyond hilarious adventure in a barber shop will have your kids and you exploding with laughter). In a crazy turn of events, Paddington ends up doing hard time in prison. Paddington turns on the charm, and the adventures in jail, are neither scary nor weird for kids. Unless you consider a bear making orange marmalade for convicts wearing pink uniforms weird! Everything in this film, like the first one, is sweet and the film is filled with great messages, visuals, music and family-friendly adventures.
The absolute best part of the movie is Hugh Grant playing washed-up actor, Phoenix Buchanan. He plays a ridiculous character who winds up battling it out against Paddington over a very special pop up book that is the key to a treasure hidden in the city. It gives the audience so many chances to laugh as you follow along in the adventure. While the movie unfolds, Grant steals every scene. He looks like he is having so much fun in the role, and is clearly a fan of the stories and the first film. Nicole Kidman was good as the villain in the first movie, but High Grant is great in this one.
There are films that if you take the little ones to, you might have to worry about uncomfortable scenes or weird double entendre. Not here. The movie delivers in every way and will leave you with a good feeling afterward. It’s more than just laughs; it subtly teaches children about kindness, understanding, empathy and the importance of family.
This fun and funny movie is a MUST for all families!
We were provided tickets to an advance screening of Paddington 2 so that I could write this review. All opinion are truthful and not influenced by the screening sponsor.