Film review: Paddington 2 (5 out of 5)
How do you improve on being the highest grossing independent family film of all time?
You serve up an even funnier, more charming and stronger story.
And so the unpretentiously named Paddington 2 will leave its 2014 predecessor in its wake.
It’s certainly the funniest film I’ve seen this year, but leaves a lump in your throat with a heart-warming ending.
Full marks to director Paul King, back in charge again, the writers and a cast that features a who’s who of British talent, with all manner of cameos.
It’s now impossible to think of anyone who could voice Paddington better than Ben Whishaw and with Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins as Mr and Mrs Brown, plus Julie Walters as housekeeper Mrs Bird, it’s a home full of charm and fun.
This time round Paddington is looking for the perfect gift for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday.
He has his eyes on one present in particular but needs to get a job to pay for it.
However, near neighbour and failed actor Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant) also has his eyes on the item in question.
The comic situations Paddington gets into are a delight for young and old and it’s a perfect film for all the family.
Peter Capaldi returns as the irascible busybody Mr Curry, but there’s also Brendan Gleeson as Knuckles McGinty, plus appearances from Joanna Lumley, Jessica Hynes, Richard Ayoade, Eileen Atkins, Sanjeev Bhaskar, among several other familiar faces.
One tip, though - don’t rush off as soon the credits roll as you’ll miss a cracking song and dance number.
And there’s good news for the many fans, the third movie was announced before this film started shooting!
Film details: Paddington 2 (PG) 103mins
Directors: Paul King
Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Sally Hawkins, Ben Whishaw
Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol