(NOW IS GOOD, IMAGINE ME & YOU)
Lily James, Amanda Seyfried, Jeremy Irvine, Pierce Brosnan, Josh Dylan, Stellan Skarsgård, Hugh Skinner, Colin Firth, Christine Baranski and Julie Walters
And here we go again, we know the start, we know the end.
We’ve done it all before and now we’re back to get some more.
Those lyrics from one of the many famous and catchy songs sung by ABBA are indeed in tune to this sequel (and prequel) to the smash-hit musical romantic comedy MAMMA MIA. My my, can you believe it’s already been ten years since its release? Well then, now is our chance to show these ensemble of characters “just how much we’ve missed them”.
MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN begins with Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) completing the final preparations for a party to celebrate the impending opening of her hotel on the Island of Kalokairi, which is her mother’s lifelong dream. This milestone event leads Sophie to learning more about Donna’s youth, shown via extended flashback sequences set back to 1979. During these scenes, a younger and carefree Donna (now played by Lily James) has separate encounters with the men, Sam, Bill and Harry (Jeremy Irvine, Josh Dylan and Hugh Skinner, respectively) who are all potential candidates of being Sophie’s father, whom Donna meets during her travels to the idyllic Greek Island that becomes her home.
The feel-good fever being spread from the screen in MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN is totally infectious and will be embraced by many, yet I seem to be one of very few who were more immune to its outbreak of joy and fun, and could only feel minor symptoms.
Make no mistake, you will be having the time of your life throughout this musical film. Even if like myself, you find the dancing choreography rather standard and its songs to sing performed quite reasonably only, there is still much more to become fond of. The beginning of this sequel takes place five years on from where the 2008 film left off. Not long after we are whisked back to 1979, the screenplay makes smart use of its locations and commonalities in its narrative to connect the two timelines and its female protagonists. It’s a move that is not only creatively and nicely presented but also adds further laughter and some poignancy to the picture. The highly anticipated appearance of Cher (who turned down the role occupied by Christine Baranski in the first MAMMA MIA!) more than meets expectations. It will have her fans in a state of jubilation and is well worth the wait. Speaking of Christine Baranski, she absolutely steals every scene her character makes a remark in! It might be expected, but it never ages or tires. But don’t be holding your breath for the very brief visit of another favourite. Unlike before, Meryl Streep plays an extremely minor role in MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN and is only cast in just a few scenes. Nevertheless, she’s bound to gain her 22nd Oscar Nomination at the next Academy Awards!
So, even though MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN may not be able to make the magical music of ABBA flourish, as the original could, this shouldn’t be a preventative from enjoying and liking the sequel. Either way, your money money money will be well spent and MAMMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAIN will be the winner that takes it all!
PG (Mild sexual references)
MAMMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAIN
Moviedoc thanks Universal Pictures for the invite to the screening of this film