'Paddington 2': Even in prison, the cuddly, furry marmalade fan lifts spirits

Don't be mistaken by Paddington's prim proper demeanor and soft friendly voice. He is as gangsta as they come

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. This also leads to some fun callbacks to gags from the first film, but since the script is all about continuing to lend depth to this franchise's universe, it's never forced and always a pleasure. It gives me enormous pleasure to say that if you were anxious Paddington 2 would fail to repeat that feat, you're absolutely wrong. The loving hug she extended Paddington in the first film was not just a gesture but a promise, and that promise is more than kept in a sequel that wraps you in its own warm embrace from start to finish. During the fun conversation Bonneville joked about how Grant has changed since making Notting Hill, when they knew the sequel would be such a special film, what it was like filming the big train chase sequence in the 3rd act, and more. Yet here they are, in a family film sequel prone to much stateside dismissal, giving it their collective all once again. While Paddington gets used to bedtime with no story, Mrs. Gleeson adds a twist to the movie, because, to complement Paddington's charm, he becomes an impromptu companion and the adventures just continue from there. When a thief steals the book, Paddington is fingered (pawed) as the culprit, and that's all the spark needed for everyone to doubt the character of this marmalade-foraging foreigner.

Teo Bugbee, The New York Times: "Neighborliness is next to godliness in "Paddington 2".

There is no way to know when the physical sets stop and the VFX shots begin; and even smaller things such as a scene seamlessly shifting from a jungle to a prison cell is done without cuts - it's quite an astonishing visual achievement but is done so fluidly King makes it look easy. Sally Hawkins, when not recreating The Shape Of Water underwater scenes, is still the excited doting mother. Thanks to a bit of bad timing, Paddington gets charged for the theft and winds up in prison. Missing her far away in Peru, Paddington decides to help her fulfill her bucket-wish list of visiting the United Kingdom capitol by buying her a vintage pop-up book of London landmarks. The desperation of the prisoners is portrayed perfectly by Brendan Gleeson, who plays Knuckles the chef, who is as scary looking as the food he serves.

In the meantime, the Browns are trying to clear Paddington's name, putting up sketches Mary made based on how Paddington described him.

Through the annals of anthropomorphization, Paddington strides like a colossus - utterly human, completely bear.

"Paddington 2 opens in theaters Jan. 12

Grant, as well-known as he is, rarely appears in truly family-friendly fare. Paddington 2 is a amusing, warm and fuzzy film for everyone and it is a feel-good treat that you should definitely take advantage of.

All the situations that Paddington goes through in this movie teaches a lesson.

The prospects for "Paddington 2" were grim at the outset.

Paddington 2 has done what many franchises couldn't: make a sequel about a fearless bear brilliant, handsome and better than the original.

Obvious and subtly pointed metaphors for immigration aside, Paddington 2 also shows an exponential leap forward for King as a director. Thankfully it's all building to something better, which is not coincidentally related to the arrival of Hugh Grant. If his previous feature was visually inventive, Paddington 2 is King and company delivering pure eye candy without forsaking any substance. "If we are all kind and polite, the world will be right". Paddington 2 has a lot of worthy ones - the importance of kindness, family, and, heck, even saving money to get a thoughtful gift for someone who means something to you.



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