Forget what you think makes a good movie, because Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again denies all wisdom on the subject and manages to produce an utterly joyous Kalokairi-set celebration.
It doesn’t matter that often characters were so brightly lit they constantly looked like they were in front of a cheap green screen. Or that the writers clearly expended all their energy to forcibly jam ABBA songs into the plot. Or that the sequel completely disregards details laid out in the first film. Why? Because right from the beginning Amanda Seyfried’s stunning green eyes enchants you to relax and just have some honest fun.
God is a woman and her name is Lily James. She is incredible as a young Donna in denim dungarees, utilising her charm and infectious smile to full effect and mimicking Meryl Streep’s mannerisms for Donna displayed a decade ago. But of all the younger cast members, Jessica Keenan Wyn as young Tanya stole the show – an impressive feat when you’re playing a young Christine Baranski (who is as sharp as ever, of course). The actors playing young Bill, Sam and Harry are good enough, but they are outshined by their talented female co-stars.
The film finds further strength in limiting Pierce Brosnan’s singing, making the experience far easier on the ears. And for all the sinners who don’t see this film, Omid Djalili and Colin Firth are now pop culture’s power couple of the moment. At some point Cher and Meryl Streep will stylishly turn up, but don’t anticipate their arrival. Their presence is fleeting and there is far more to enjoy long before they show themselves. Although Seyfried is playing an unrecognisably anxious Sophie, she can be described as nothing short of angelic.
For all its flaws, Mamma Mia 2 boasts an exciting cast that belt a tune louder than the sum of the film’s flaws. If the fact that this world is so messed up right now is getting you down, what better cure is there than Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again?