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Paddington 2 (PG)




Paddington 2 (PG)
Film Reviews by Amy Diaz

01/18/18
By Amy Diaz adiaz@hippopress.com



Paddington 2 (PG)

The friendly, marmalade-eating bear returns in Paddington 2, a wonderfully gentle family movie.
The red-hat-wearing bear Paddington (Ben Whishaw voices the CGI bear in the otherwise live-action world) has settled into life with the Brown family: insurance-selling father Henry (Hugh Bonneville), illustrator mother Mary (Sally Hawkins), teen daughter Judy (Madeleine Harris), slightly younger son Jonathan (Samuel Joslin) and live-in helpy person Mrs. Bird (Julie Walters). Paddington has made friends with most of the neighbors, which is perhaps why they are OK with a talking bear working as a window-washer — one of his ideas for making money to buy a present for his Aunt Lucy, who is back in “Darkest Peru” living in a home for retired bears. He even finds the perfect gift, an antique pop-up book featuring 12 London landmarks. Just as he’s nearly earned enough to buy Aunt Lucy’s book, a shaggy-looking man burglarizes the antique shop and makes off with the book. He gets away before the police arrive, but Paddington, who attempted to stop the robbery, is left as the only witness and is arrested for the crime.
Paddington goes to prison, where he stumbles into friendship with fellow prisoners such as Knuckles McGinty (Brendan Gleeson), Spoon (Aaron Neil) and Phibs (Noah Taylor). The Browns, meanwhile, try to track down the man Paddington saw, even as more suspicious characters are showing up at break-ins at landmarks around the city.
What we in the audience know is that Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant), a once-fancy-pants actor whose latest gig has been dog food commercials, stole the book and is now using it to collect clues at the landmarks regarding the whereabouts of a treasure chest. 
Phoenix is a great kids’-movie villain: his goal is to steal a box of jewels, he’s a total buffoon (and Grant is delightfully game) and he’s never really physically threatening. In fact, one of the most “threatening” moments in the movie features Paddington delivering what his aunt calls a “hard stare” to someone who is being rude. Paddington 2 feels like what would happen if you took The Great British Baking Show, dialed up the kindness, gave everybody winning bakes and a jar of marmalade and added a bear. It is sweet (without being overly sugary) and gentle but still fun and with moments of bear-centered pratfalls and adventures.
I checked the Common Sense Media age suggestion on this movie before I went (my daughter is not quite old enough for everything with a PG rating). They suggest 6; my nearly 6-year-old daughter agreed that it wasn’t scary (there are a few moments of danger for Paddington). Even better, she never appeared bored and I enjoyed the movie’s ability to be silly and funny without being a catch-phrase-spouting paint-splatter of loudness.
Paddington 2 is a thoroughly delightful bit of entertainment for younger (maybe kindergarten, give or take, and up) movie-goers and a welcome bit of kindness for their parents. A-
Rated PG for some action and mild rude humor, according to the MPAA. Directed by Paul King and written by Paul King and Simon Farnaby (from the books by Michael Bond), Paddington 2 is an hour and 43 minutes long and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.
 

 






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