Monday, 27 August 2018

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again: Film Review

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again: Film Review

Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Lily James, Dominic Cooper, Julie Walters, Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgaard, Andy Garcia, Cher
Director: Ol Parker

Sometimes, it's pointless to rail against the cheese.

So it is with Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, the sequel to the 2008 Abba smash hit film that was low rent in terms of story, but was embraced as only some musicals can be.
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again: Film Review

In this latest, reeling from the loss of her mother Donna (Streep), Sophie Sheridan (Seyfried, in earnest heartfelt mode) is making final preparations to reopen her mother's Greek hotel.

Reflecting on Donna's past and trying to juggle the commitments of her present life, Sophie finds hardships in her own relationships as the tumult reaches overwhelming levels.

There's little point resisting Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again.

Its overload of cheesiness and gusto is pretty much signalled early on with Seyfried's sitting in the Greek sun, looking at letters while softly muttering lyrics to Thank you for the music.

It's then kicked up a notch with Lily James' energetic and vibrant performance of When I Kissed The Teacher as a young Donna, its choreography and energy lighting up the screen, and no doubt leading to dancing in the aisles to ABBA's lesser known music. (It's to be said that James is the best thing in the sequel, an actress who throws herself headlong into the role with relish and a carefree attitude that's nothing short of contagious.)
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again: Film Review

While the structure of Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again is a bit of a mess (continual chopping into the past and present), those willing to go along with the ride, the corny one-liners and the all too familiar rom-com-drama storyline will be happy enough.

Kitsch mixed in with stars clearly more self-aware of what the first film's legacy was helps Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again a lot, but don't expect to be won over if you're of the cynical variety. This is pure and simple goofball film-making that's about licensing music and inserting it into the ongoing drama.

While that's no bad thing, there's no convincing any that this is high art - it's purely about trashy entertainment, about ensuring a good time is had by all, that ABBA's timeless disco hits live on and everyone else with the hint of a brain cell or good taste be damned.

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