Following the worldwide hit 'Paddington,' one of the most successful family films of all time, this much-anticipated sequel finds Paddington (Ben Whishaw) happily settled with the Brown family in London, where he has become a popular member of the local community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes.
While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s hundredth birthday, Paddington sees a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief.
Reuniting many of the original film’s cast while welcoming those in new roles, 'Paddington 2' stars Golden Globe nominee Hugh Bonneville ('Downton Abbey'), Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins ('Blue Jasmine'), three-time Golden Globe nominee Brendan Gleeson ('The Guard,' 'Into the Storm,' 'In Bruges'), Oscar nominee Julie Walters ('Billy Elliot,' 'Educating Rita'), Oscar winner Jim Broadbent ('Iris'), and Oscar winner Peter Capaldi (short, 'Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life'), with Golden Globe and BAFTA Award winner Hugh Grant ('Four Weddings and a Funeral'), and BAFTA winner Ben Whishaw ('The Hollow Crown') as the voice of Paddington. The starring ensemble also includes Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin, and Oscar nominee Imelda Staunton ('Vera Drake') as the voice of Aunt Lucy.
Paddington’s return to the big screen was again helmed by BAFTA-nominated director Paul King ('Paddington,' 'Come Fly with Me,' 'The Mighty Boosh') from a script written by King and Simon Farnaby (Sky TV’s 'Yonderland,' 'Mindhorn'), based on the best-selling and internationally adored books by Michael Bond, creator of Paddington Bear.
The film was produced by multiple award-winning producer David Heyman (the 'Harry Potter' films, 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,' Oscar nominee for 'Gravity'). Serving as executive producers were Rosie Alison, Jeffrey Clifford, Alexandra Ferguson Derbyshire, Ron Halpern, and Didier Lupfer.
Creative talent returning behind the camera included director of photography Erik Alexander Wilson ('Tyrannosaur,' 'Submarine'), production designer Gary Williamson ('Bunny and the Bull,' 'Submarine'), Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming ('Wonder Woman,' 'The Dark Knight'), and editor Mark Everson ('Mindhorn,' 'Alan Partridge'), joined by editor Jonathan Amos ('Baby Driver'). Visual effects were provided by the highly acclaimed British VFX company, Framestore, led by animation director Pablo Grillo ('Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them') and VFX supervisors Andy Kind ('Gravity') and Glen Pratt ('Beauty and the Beast'). The score is composed by Academy Award winner Dario Marianelli ('Atonement').
'Paddington 2' was shot on location in and around central London, as well as on the legendary soundstages of Warner Bros. Leavesden and Pinewood film studios.
Warner Bros. Pictures and STUDIOCANAL present, in association with Anton Capital Entertainment S.C.A., a Heyday Films Production, 'Paddington 2.' The film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. www.paddington.com
'Paddington 2' is rated PG for some action and mild rude humor.
'Paddington 2': A delightful sequel (Review By Troy Ribeiro ; Rating:
Based on the long-running children's book series from renowned author Michael Bond, which was first published in 1957, director Paul King's "Paddington 2" is a charming and narratively more satisfying sequel to the 2014 released "Paddington".
Just like the original film made an impassioned case for accepting and welcoming immigrants, this edition makes a plea for kindness, civility and looking for the good in people. It is every bit as perfectly tuned, cruelty-free funny and kind-hearted film as its earlier edition.
Like its first edition, this chapter of adventures begins by plunging through the cloudy Peruvian jungle giving an insight to Paddington's pre-London days, before settling to the present-day narrative where its predecessor left off with Paddington in the Notting Hill abode of the Brown family, adorably headed by Sally Hawkins and Hugh Bonneville.
Here we see, Paddington, once again voiced impeccably by Ben Whishaw, leading a happy life. Outgoing, adorable and childlike in his directness, he retains his ursine instincts, suddenly slurping at the marmalade-smeared head of a barbershop customer, for example.
He takes up odd jobs at the barbers and cleaning windows in the neighbourhood, in order to collect money for a "popping book" of London, which he intends to buy from the immigrant antique dealer Mr. Gruber (Jim Broadbent). He wants this book to send it as a gift to his Anglophile Aunt Lucy in Peru for her 100th birthday.
But unfortunately, unbeknownst to Paddington, there is someone else who has been eyeing the book. When that person breaks into the shop to steal the volume, Paddington gives a chase astride a trusty Irish wolfhound only to somehow wrongfully land in prison as the suspected thief.
The real thief, the man-of-many disguises, is the Brown's neighbour, the waning West End star Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant). Buchanan pinches the book for clues to a hidden fortune. How Paddington clears his name alongside the Brown family's amateur detective work and the help from his rough but soft-hearted friends from the prison, forms the witty, albeit slender narrative thread.
What is remarkable is the compact and ingenious plotting in director Paul King and his co-screenwriter Simon Farnaby's script. With retro mechanism of coincidences, mysteries and mini-puzzles the plot is a delight. It is further supported by the seamless digital integration of a talking bear into a live-action London jam-packed with even stranger diversions.
The scrambling action scenes are lively, complicated and enjoyable, making it feel that its cinematic universe is a caper.
On the performance front, the actors slip into their roles with apt precision. Apart from Hugh Grant, who plays the self-centred Phoenix Buchanan with elan, it is Brendan Gleeson as the violent cook Knuckles who leaves an impact on screen.
Ben Whishaw's lissome voice-work makes Paddington an utterly engaging character. Equally convincing are Imelda Staunton and Michael Gambon as Paddington's Aunt Lucy and Uncle Pastuzo.
Visually, every frame is like an intricate-scaled diorama, a work of art built up from thousands of tiny, thoughtful details that would enthral you over several viewings.
Overall, this film would appeal to children and adults alike.
'Paddington 2' an over-cute pain (Review By Subhash K Jha ; Rating **)
"Paddington" in 2014 was so treacly it was like eating too much Christmas
pudding. The most unwanted sequel comes to us with noblest of intentions and
feeblest of contrivances.It has little else to recommend itself, except Hugh
Grant in a whammy of a performance that belongs to film far weightier than this
Grant plays Phoenix Buchanan a wicked has-been of an actor whose villainy drives the anorexic plot forward through the neat unexciting residential streets of London as our bear-hero the adorable Paddington waddles through a mess that, I suspect, is created entirely by the script writers who were told to slap together a hurried sequel filled with ersatz twists and unconvincing turns which would get the "Paddington" fans back into their seats.
As far as sequels go, this one doesn't get anywhere that we would particularly like to go.It is like visiting Woody Allen's Wonder Wheel on a day when the rides are open only to the righteous. It opens on a note of sanctimonious adoration with a bear-couple adopting an awashed baby bear. The CGs are not so unbearable. There is so much more to 'bear' here.
The plot quickly moves to London to Paddington's adoptive British family that spreads so much fuzzy warmth around our cute little hero making him the apex of British propriety and marmalade-laid decorum. Some of Paddington's teaparty etiquettes are plainly annoying. Elsewhere, as in the sequels, where poor little Paddington is imprisoned,the attempts to remain propah and genteel in a rough environment may evoke some stray titters. Though I doubt anyone will remain amused for too long with the strained attempts to alchemize animation tropes into a full fledged feature films.
Even by the low standards set by the cult of sequels "Paddington 2" fares poorly. Veteran British actors like Jim Broadbent(playing an antique dealer) and Brendan Gleeson(as a snarling prison cook) liven up the proceedings. But it is Hugh Grant who will raise your amusement quotient and perk your curiosity level with his huffing and heaving portrayal of an actor on the skids.
Oh yes, you will see two actors of Indian origin. Sanjeev Bhaskar is a face glimpsed at a window on a London street while Meera Sayal makes a fleeting appearing in a courtroom scene. Aren't we grateful.
Don't raise your hopes too high. As our baby bear's cuddly antics will make you roll your eyes and mutter under your breath. The plot's focus of conflict is a pop-up animation book stolen by the arch-villain and coveted by our cuddlesome hero as a birthday gift to his beloved aunt who teaches "Paddington" to look for goodness in everyone.I looked for that quality in this film and found way too much of it.
If the truth be told, the pop-up book pops up more vividly than anything that this lackluster sequel has to offer.I know it has made potloads of money across the global box-office. But if success was a measure of excellence then Dhanush's Kolaveri D would be a classic song. And Dwayne Johnson would be a better actor than Marlon Brando.
Or Hugh Grant, for that matter.