Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is the sequel to the very successful Mamma Mia from 2008, this time we get a proper look back to what Donna went through and how she ended up in Greece and pregnant with Sophie.
I had been very dubious about this film and in all honesty didn’t think I was even going to bother seeing it as the trailer just seemed very weak, but with the surprisingly good reviews I decided to therefore give the film a chance, plus I have been very impressed with Lily James in the other films I have seen her in so far.
The story flicks between Sophie trying to create the hotel in Donna’s memory and building it all up to how she had wanted to do so herself, and then back to Donna and the fun she had with the possible three Dad’s during that summer that was going to change everything about her life forever. The thing is the film started off in a truly fantastic musical number and that really impressed me with ‘When I Kissed the Teacher’ and the graduation. The choreography was very impressive and I thought that meant the film was going to go from strength to strength after that, unfortunately it weakens in my opinion and never quite lives up to that early promise.
We are then taken through each of the men with Harry, Bill and Sam. The younger versions are pretty good in terms of looks to the older men we already knew. Each getting a musical number to be part of in the telling of the story. Flashing back to Sophie and trying to come to terms with her fight with Sky and if the hotel will actually work out very well or not.
We all knew about the introduction of Cher to the story and in all honesty her vocals for ‘Fernando’ just show that she really is on another level when it comes to music. We could also take the whole scene out of the film and it wouldn’t really make a massive difference to the storyline, but for how good that part is with Andy Garcia who is looking better each and every time I see him in a film these days. I loved Lily James as young Donna, I thought her acting and singing were both fantastic and she carries the film well and truly on her shoulders. Pierce Brosnan hardly sings this time which I guess is another bonus, but considering the number of songs in the first film this one has some lesser known Abba songs. Well, lesser known for myself who is not a huge fan!
I know the first film was panned critically and this one has done much better in those terms, but I don’t think this one captures the feel good factor and fun from the first film. It tries too hard to be taken seriously for me and with that loses something important. I thought the ‘Waterloo’ scene was pretty funny however Hugh Skinner spoilt it with his attempted singing and was awful as young Harry in my opinion. The casting of Jeremy Irvine and Josh Dylan were very good though and I enjoyed them a lot, I was pleased we didn’t get more of Skinner.
It was a shame that one of the best musical numbers was the little bonus at the end with the whole cast involved for ‘Super Trouper’ and it brought everything to a close. Surely they have run out of Abba songs to have a third film? You would think so but if this is anywhere near as successful as the first film then I am sure we will see more. Maybe I would have been better off with my lower expectations as the good reviews raised them and I think that has influenced my feelings towards this one.