‘A whole lot of fun full of feel-good moments to embrace’
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, 2018
Directed by: Ol Parker
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Dominic Cooper, Lily James, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Andy Garcia, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Cher, Meryl Streep, Hugh Skinner, Josh Dylan, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Alexa Davies, Jeremy Irvine
Interestingly, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again acts as both a sequel to the 2008 film and a prequel; continuing the events from the first film we follow Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) as she tries to set up the hotel in memory of her late mother, Donna (Meryl Streep, The Post) while in the past we follow a younger Donna (Lilly James, Darkest Hour) as she initially arrives on the island and has her chance encounters with all three of Amanda’s possible fathers, with all the musical numbers from Abba at every turn.
While there are inconsistencies with the timeline (in 2018 Sophie should be nearly 40, but there’s enough new phones to suggest it’s not set in the early-2000’s), and a Meryl Streep who is only three years younger than her on-screen mother, played by Cher, this film is still a whole lot of fun full of feel-good moments to embrace. Lily James and Amanda Seyfried are both excellent in their portrayal of young-Donna and Sophie, while the other characters are hilarious. Christine Baranski (A Bad Moms Christmas) has such a unique comedic presence and the dynamic between the fathers (especially Harry (Colin Firth, The Mercy) and Bill (Stellan Skarsgard); they had such a playfulness and charm to their relationship) helps move the film along while it has some seriously impactful moments. And we see a lot less of Meryl Streep than I was expecting, and it makes it so much more rewarding when we do see her. She’s a fantastic actress so it’s a risk not having her in a more dominating role, but it’s pulled off superbly. The musical number at the end (where all the characters form the presence dance with their younger versions) is hilarious, too; especially Colin Firth’s treatment of a young-Harry (Hugh Skinner).
A few parts were played out too much for drama, such as the relationship between Sophie and Sky (Dominic Cooper, Stratton) whereby he wants to stay in New York with a new job but she’s refusing to budge on her dream of reopening the hotel in her mother’s name, but that is my only real negative takeaway. I know the two-star personal score may sound harsh (or that I should have a lot more criticisms to say), but that’s just my own personal opinion; the film was fine: I laughed, I felt, I cared; but it was still whole host of Abba songs (a lot of which I didn’t know) in a musical, which, while I accept it was a very well put-together film, isn’t necessarily my up-of-tea. If that’s yours, though, then this film certainly delivers.
Personal: * * Acting: * * * * Writing: * * * Presentation: * * *