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Morley Movie Review: Paddington 2

Morley Movie Review: Paddington 2

"Paddington 2" has a very rare rating of 100 percent approval on the Rotten Tomatoes website, meaning more than 120 critics liked it.

As with the first installment, based on Michael Bond's series of children's books, the sequel is stunning to look at, with inventive, colorful sets and such crafty interludes as a sequence in which Paddington imagines himself and his Aunt Lucy frolicking through the pages of the elusive pop-up book. Far from purloining the volume, Paddington had earlier taken a job in order to save up enough money to purchase it as a gift for his cherished Aunt Lucy (voice of Imelda Staunton). With his wide blue eyes, wrinkly smile that spreads creepily across his face, he does all he can to be the weird actor ready to send bear cubs to jail for a book.

Led by dad Hugh Bonneville and mom Sally Hawkins, the Brown household is rounded out by daughter Judy (Madeleine Harris), an aspiring journalist, son Jonathan (Samuel Joslin), who fears his love of steam trains is not cool, and housekeeper Mrs. Bird (Julia Walters). Brown knows how to play the stuffy patriarch, but here he is allowed to have some fun with the type, just as Hugh Grant, as a pompous actor of the the-a-tre whose star has fallen so low he has been reduced to acting in dog-food commercials, gets to dress up, speak in amusing voices and generally act the stuck-up goof. A little patience and a mess hall's worth of our hero's trademark marmalade sandwiches can mend even the hardest of hearts, in this case belonging to the most frighteningly intimidating inmate, the resident cook, played by Brendan Gleeson. Unfortunately, the book is stolen and Paddington is blamed, which lands everyone's favorite Bear in prison. Paddington adores the Browns, and the feeling is definitely mutual.

Grant does a breathtaking more-is-more performance here, creating an abysmal ham with haughty visions of grandiosity using his "acting" skills to don elaborate disguises. Can Paddington find the good in his former producer Harvey Weinstein?

Paddington 2 arrives in the States a few months after it opened in the United Kingdom, naturally, and there have already been whispers of a third film. Peter Capaldi's odious neighborhood watchman, delighted to have cause for trumpeting his bigoted worldview, spits out Paddington's adopted surname -"Brown"- like the slur he wants it to be.

Grant, as well-known as he is, rarely appears in truly family-friendly fare. Will Lucy get her present or...something even better?

Olympics: N. Korea says work cut out after talks with IOC
He added that Seoul was reaching out to other countries in the hockey competition to explain the situation. In 1991, they joined forces at the World Table Tennis championships and the football under-20 World Cup.

When Paddington was released in 2014, it became one of the most successful children's films ever, a hit around the world that inevitably would call for a sequel or perhaps several.

The creators always had Grant in mind for the role, and somehow convinced him to join the cast by alluding to the similarities between the real-life actor and his fictional counterpart. Paddington 2 avoids almost all of these traps, spinning a lovely yarn with effects that dazzle, slapstick segments that shine and accomplished British thespians who give their all for their digitized co-star. All the actors are doing their best work to serve a sweet, adventurous story.

Could it be that Hugh Grant was born to play a villainous dandy in a kid's movie? Not only is the CGI good, but the emotions you experience really pulls you out of your chair and grabs your attention.

Teo Bugbee, The New York Times: "Neighborliness is next to godliness in "Paddington 2". But the most important lesson that the movie teaches us involves the following quote by Paddington.

Did you see the first Paddington movie?

'You just have to project your imagination onto this thing that you know is going to be a cute cuddly bear'. It was an act of kindness that Paddington himself would be proud of, and something that I'm sure made us all feel a little bit better about ourselves and the world.


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