Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)
Critic Consensus: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again doubles down on just about everything fans loved about the original -- and my my, how can fans resist it?
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as Young Donna
as Young Bill
as Young Harry
as Young Sam
as Young Rosie
as Young Tanya
as Ruby Sheridan
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Critic Reviews for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Euphoria! Tears! Fernando! Dagnabit. This film will leave you high and wet. And willing (almost) to contemplate the prospect of Mamma Mia 3.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, for all its faults, has a musty charm and even, for reasons that involve Meryl Streep, a hint of heartbreak.
What's notable about the broadness, though, is that it stays clear of grandiosity.
Breathe a sigh of relief; this even-more bizarre sequel to an already bizarre original (based on the 1999 jukebox musical) is going to be ridiculous, of course. But fun, too.
Audience Reviews for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
I didn't see the first movie in theaters and I hardly remember a thing about it, but I'll be damned if this thing didn't win me over from the moment Lily James stepped on screen. Sure, some of the musical numbers are worse than an amateur karaoke night, but at least this time around Colin Firth, Stellan SkarsgÃ¥rd, and Pierce Brosnan are playing up how bad they are at all this singing and dancing stuff. Furthermore, the emotional beats don't feel nearly as cheap as the sets and despite a complete lack of stakes one could do much, much worse if in search of something light, frothy, and full of pure escapism. I mean, seriously though, if Lily James wants to do a movie about young Julia Child I'm all the way there for that.
Despite the nice scene transitions, the two parallel storylines are not always put together in an organic way, but while Ol Parker's direction is not so en pointe either, this uplifting sequel is notably superior to the awful first movie in about everything: singing, acting and heart.
B-SIDES THE POINT - My Review of MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN (3 Stars) Hi. My name is Glenn. [Hi, Glenn!] And I am an ABBA-holic. Feels good to come clean like that. I've always worshipped that Swedish hit machine, clamoring for each album, marveling at the European chord progressions, the indelible harmonies, and their power pop classics. The last time they played Los Angeles, I skipped the concert for no good reason, thinking I would catch them next time. There would be no next time. So consider my excitement when MAMMA MIA hit the Broadway stage, followed immediately by my disappointment in what I called, "The Musical They Forgot To Choreograph". The film version, execrably directed by the helmer of the play, was even worse. Not only was the camera NEVER in the right place, the actors ran and sang, they jumped, they waved their arms while doing karaoke versions of the classics. It was aggressively stupid, borderline unwatchable, but those songs made it a guilty pleasure. For some reason, I was hoping for a jukebox musical about the band. Two failed marriages! Stockholm winters! Massive success! Phonetically pronounced English! Instead, we got a lame story of "Who's Your Daddy" on a way-too-sunny Greek island. Cut to ten years later, and somehow I like to think everyone involved learned a thing or two. Lesson One: If you're gonna make a dumpster fire, go big or go back to Sweden. With MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN, we have a prequel and a sequel all in one (Not since Godfather II?!!), a different director (Ol Parker), and a giant cast who, for the most part, seem to be really into it. Yes, it's terrible, but if your response to that is "So what? I wanna hear me some more ABBA songs and watch Cher, dammit!", then by all means, you're gonna have a blast. Despite repeating some of their better known songs, this film, for the most part, dives deeper into their catalogue, filling the soundtrack with a lot of the band's sappier ballads and B-sides instead of some barn burners like "On And On And On" and "The Visitors". It's an odd choice, but sometimes the songs hit emotionally. One exception is "When I Kissed The Teacher", the first number in the film. It kicks the film into high gear as we watch Young 1979 Donna, the Meryl Streep character from the first, (a fun, engaging performance by Lily James) graduate from school along with her besties, Young Tanya and Young Rosie (Jessica Keenan Wynn and Alexa Davies respectively), who are incredibly well-cast as the younger versions of Christine Baranski and Julie Walters. James has the Pop Goddess moves down pat and sings quite sweetly, a nice surprise after competent but hardly star-making roles in BABY DRIVER and DARKEST HOUR). It's impossible to take your eyes off her in this film. Her storyline, hinted at in the first but fleshed out here, shows us how she met and bedded the three possible men who would become Sophie's father. In the modern day timeline, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) mourns the loss of her mother as she prepares to reopen their newly remodeled hotel in her honor. She has marital problems with Sky (Dominic Cooper), a deadbeat Grandma (Cher dammit!) who has never supported her granddaughter, and....oh God...who cares? Nothing quite sticks when it comes to plot, as every scene shoehorns in another ABBA song, and that's really what we came to see, right? Strangely, what story their is, intercut between the two timelines, is so slight yet somehow resonates on its themes of family, friends, and the importance of honoring the dead. Again, it's a terrible movie. Did I mention it was terrible? Ok, good. BUT...I'll probably stop and watch it again when it shows up on a streaming service or on a plane. It makes you smile. Sure, it's a dumb, crooked smile, but a smile nonetheless. The young versions of the Dads are all well-cast in the sense that they resemble Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgård and they sing just as miserably. Luckily Brosnan only hums a few bars of "S.O.S" and that's it, sparing us the atrocity that was his singing debut in the first. Dominic Cooper gets that dreadful distinction with his terrible croaking on "One Of Us", but Hugh Skinner's atonal "Waterloo" is a close second. I can't believe I'm writing about non-singers doing ABBA numbers in a dumb movie, but the more you know. Those who come for Cher and Meryl Streep have a long wait, with Streep clocking in a less than three minutes of screen time. Cher, however, has fun with "Fernando", a strangely winning duet with Andy Garcia. The musical numbers, like last time, consist of a ton of running and flailing, although nobody leans into a mic as well as Lilly James. She's a star. Bad movies occupy a special place in pop culture. We remember SHOWGIRLS, XANADU, GREASE 2, and VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, to name a few, because we relish in their terribleness. If someone asked me to name the movies I've seen the most, they're rarely the all-time great classics. I think I've seen MOMMIE DEAREST many more times than I saw CITIZEN KANE. MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN knows exactly what movie it is, giving me the smiles throughout. There's even a good line or two every now and then, most of them by Baranski, of course, but MVP honors go to Omid Djalili as a Customs Officer who not only crushes his scenes, but has the distinction of starring in the post-credits Easter egg scene, which is kinda worth the wait. So bad movie lovers, rejoice, because MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN, in all its fake green screen glory, its literal boatloads of stupidly jumping extras, and its pure pop bliss. So go hate watch it, or hate to watch it....but either way, you're gonna be humming "Super Trouper" when you run and jump and flail out the movie theater doors.
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