‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!’ has no right to be any good, but it is.

‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!’ has no right to be any good, but it is.

‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!’ has no right to be any good, but it is.
July 25
18:32 2018

“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” is a quasi-prequel/sequel to the 2008 smash hit “Mamma Mia!” Ten years may seem like quite a bit of time for a continuation of an original musical, but hey, crazier things have happened haven’t they? 

“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” interweaves two stories. Sophie, played by Amanda Seyfried, learns about her mother’s mysterious past, which is explored in flashback segments with the expertly cast Lily James, who takes the role of young Donna, who was played by Meryl Streep in the original film.  

But really, I have to just say it. What I am about to confess is truly a bold statement coming from me, someone who did not necessarily enjoy the original film by any means, but this film surprised me a lot. The absolutely craziest thing about this whole thing, however, is the movie is actually quite good? Like, more than just quite, really. It is one of the biggest surprises in all of 2018. Seriously. If you would have told me a second “Mamma Mia!” would come even close to being as good as it actually is, I would have laughed directly in your face. Not only is it one of the greatest surprises of the year, it is also leagues above than the original film. 

What this film needed was a sense of energy and unabashed fun while not being too extreme with everything and thankfully, this movie does just the appropriate amount of all this stuff. The directing by Ol Parker thankfully breathes a much-needed sense of grounded flow into a very hectic, all-over-the-place type of film. I understand this is pretty much a standard for musicals, but this one certainly felt a little too hectic way too often. Thankfully, Parker established a good sense of grounded broadness while not delving into extreme grandiosity the film really did not need.

It is all very well made and the cast just matches this energy to a well-established tee. Lead star James commands the screen in the role of young Donna as we see her past unfold right in front of our eyes. After 2015’s live-action “Cinderella,” I knew James had some serious talent, but here she fully commits into her own and delivers one of the most endearingly energetic performances in all of 2018. All other members of the cast turn in equally endearing performances with Seyfried, Christine Baranski and Cher all absolutely stealing the show when they are present onscreen. Thankfully, the fantastic cast only elevated the already well-made production of this film. 

Sure, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” has some minor tonal issues, but its vibrant energy and seemingly unmatched sense of pure entertainment and fun helps elevate this movie not only way above its predecessor but also helps to establish its own self as one of the most surprising and most charming films in all of 2018. And that’s all we really need nowadays.

My Rating: 3.75/5

Feature Image: Courtesy “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!” Facebook

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Spencer Kain

Spencer Kain

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