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'Paddington 2' Is Perfect

For one hour and forty-four minutes, I was child again.

I saw Paddington 2 and fell in love with it. And by fell in love with, I mean that I want to buy this movie a Snuggie for Valentine's day or something. It is rare for me to walk out of a movie and have zero criticisms, but there was nothing in Paddington 2 that I disliked. Simply stated: this is a perfect movie. Whimsical, hysterical, emotional and brilliant. You could show Paddington 2 to a room full of the most cynical, cold-hearted moviegoers and it would probably melt their hearts in an instant. 

If you aren't familiar with the adorable bear Paddington, now is the time to get acquainted. Paddington, and it's recently released sequel Paddington 2, are based off of a collection of books by English author Micheal Bond. Those who haven't seen the original Paddington film could understandably be inclined to assume it belongs in the forgettable crowd—pleaser animation category along with Yogi Bear, Peter Rabbit, The Smurfs, The Emoji Movie, Boss Baby... it's a never ending list. However, Paddington is objectively far superior to said films, and the recently released sequel, Paddington 2 is even better.

Only three films in history have ever sustained a 100% Rotten Tomatoes Score with over 150 reviews, and Paddington 2 is one of them. What is it that makes Paddington 2 so special? Hard to say. There's honestly nothing unique about this movie. Paddington 2 is by no means a groundbreaking film, it's not necessarily different from other films you've seen, it's just way better. 

Paul King returns to direct the sequel and almost the entire cast has returned. Ben Whishaw returns to voice the title character, Paddington, along with Hugh Bonneville as the risk analyst/father figure Mr. Brown. Sally Hawkins returns as the artist/mother Mrs. Brown and their children Judy (Madeline Harris) and Jonathan (Samuel Joslin) return as well. Both of the child actors have aged considerably since the first film and the movie doesn't hesitate to show that their characters have matured since we last left them. While there is less of an arch that the children experience in this movie, the arch their parents go through is stronger. The only primary cast member to not return from the first film is the villain, Nicole Kidman. This film finds a new (and far more interesting) villain in Hugh Grant. This is perhaps the biggest advantage this sequel has over the original: a way better villain. I mean no disrespect to Nicole Kidman's character, the idea of an evil taxidermist was clever and endearing, but Hugh Grant's villainous yet charming and hilarious thespian is way more entertaining. It looks like Grant had a lot of fun making this movie and he definitely shines in a way you've never seen him before.

It's also worth mentioning that this movie is genuinely funny, not just for toddlers, but for adults too. There are many laugh-out-loud moments in this film. Paddington 2 uses several comedy styles, most noticeably slapstick, satire, and some good English wit. It blends these styles together irresistibly well. This is one of the funniest movies to be released in years. As crucial as it is for this movie to hit all the comic beats, which it does, the movie would not work if it weren't for the heartfelt moments. To be fair, this is an extremely try-hard movie and there are times when the movie seems almost relentless in its pursuit to pluck your heartstrings. But at least in this try hard movie, the effort pays off. It tries hard and succeeds. Paddington 2 is incredibly heartfelt, it was almost a tear jerker for me.

Usually January is a very much a down season for movies so Paddington 2 makes for a wonderful treat at the beginning of 2018. No matter how cold it is outside, Paddington 2 is sure to warm your heart. I highly recommend this movie to anyone, whether you have children or you are still are a child at heart, you will likely fall in love with this movie. I didn't notice a single flaw in Paddington 2. This movie feels like a breath of fresh air, I left the theatre feeling invigorated and joyful. If you haven't seen the first film, you don't necessarily need to see it to enjoy the sequel but you will enjoy it more if you do. Both are great films, and I give them my highest recommendation.

(4.5/5 Stars)

Official Trailer