The pleasure on the first Mamma Mia!?comes from watching?a cast?of likable actors?who can’t sing or dance star in the totally bananas musical.?It’s?like celebrities doing bad, drunken ABBA karaoke in front of green screens. The?new sequel/prequel,?Mamma Mia! Let’s begin Again?C who has possibly the best sequel subtitle for all time C is just half?as fun when the first movie,?replacing?familiar faces with?less well known?ones?inside a story we have found that.?But due to the returning cast and?a showstopping?Cher?performance, there’s enough?zany delights to forgive the?snoozier bits.
Anyone who’s seen the 2008 movie knows logic and reason have no invest the wacky musical?world of?Mamma Mia!?Both?movies are?as?silly and?tacky as possible,?functioning as?feature-length?excuses for ABBA?musical numbers.?The earliest movie ended with?Meryl Streep’s Donna?spontaneously marrying a?guy she?slept?with and hadn’t seen in just two decades, because why don’t you??With that in mind, it’s to complain for the sequel’s retconning and ridiculous narrative leaps. Personally, it is rarely explained?just how the 72-year-old Cher plays the mom with the 69-year-old Streep. And on the subject of Streep C and?spoiler alert,?though early?blatantly teased inside trailers C?while?she is really a cameo from the sequel, her character’s dead. Why? No clue! How? They never say!
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, which?is produced by writer-director Ol Parker (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel),?finds?a few years following the era of the very first movie. From a character briefly?mentions?Donna died during the past year and others?melancholically stare at framed?portraits of?her?amongst gamers the Greek villa, the?film progresses. We jump?between modern, where Amanda Seyfried’s Sophie?plans a grand re-opening party to your renovated hotel, as well as past in the event the young Donna (Lily James)?first arrives on?kauai of Kalokairi fresh out of college.
The first hour wastes time?for the most uninteresting?storylines and least appealing characters: recounting Donna’s trio of summer flings when using the younger Harry, Bill and Sam, plus the relationship woes between Sophie and Dominic Cooper’s Sky, who again is there as eye candy. The young Donna as well as Dynamos perform, with Jessica Keenan Wynn and Alexa Davies?doing uninspired imitations of Christine Baranski and Julie Walters, respectively. Then Donna provides a one-night-stand with Harry (Hugh Skinner, good the newest guys, since the younger Colin Firth),?flirts with Swedish playboy Bill (Josh Dylan like a youthful Stellan Skarsgard), and falls fond of the?engaged Sam (Jeremy Irvine to be a young Pierce Brosnan,?who is going to actually?have a tune).
The thing is, we already?know this?backstory from first movie, and Parker’s sequel?brings no?new revelations?and sets up zero?stakes. It retraces a similar plot that has a lot of unknown pretty faces and a new, less catchy track list. Means that an extensive?bore that left me anxious to return to present and reunite while using the first film’s liveliest characters and better-known ABBA songs.
As almost as much ast James carries her scenes with charm and ease, greater this sequel continues on, the clearer it can be that?Mamma Mia! without Meryl Streep just isn’t very fun. The largest mistake Parker’s movie makes is killing off Donna. Streep was largely what made?the primary film help?her all-in,?energized performance. But James playing the young Donna is a lot like watching the B-side of the first movie.
When Baranski’s horny Tanya and Walter’s exuberant Rosie arrive, the sequel?finally?begins to?resemble?the cheery romp in the first. They?drop a?handful of crude one liners and ogle?at Andy Garcia’s dashing?hotel manager (after?Book Club, is Garcia officially?2018’s movie zaddy?). Baranski and Walters share a duet?during “Angel Eyes,” although you will need 11 songs to obtain there,?I was relieved to serve them with myself myself?smiling along towards whole goofy affair. This is actually the movie I arrived at see, where two middle-aged women prance around a Greek villa flapping their arms and?sipping wine.
Soon after, all the island and a parade of boats erupt into an appropriately?bonkers?”Dancing Queen” sequence, where Firth and Skarsgard present some terrifically?bad dad dance moves. Both, together with Brosnan, are rarely getting much to accomplish this time around C and?while there’s?a pair?brief?allusions to Harry’s sexuality,?all of them are wedged into winking jokes. It’s disappointing that in 2018, a movie as gay as?Mamma Mia! Let’s begin Again can’t even directly acknowledge?its one gay character’s gayness beyond a punchline.
Here We Go Again?is missing the orlando magic?in the first, but?it?has one secret factor that an original movie lacked: Cher, who waltzes on top of the island to?steal the?whole damn show.?Playing up her Vegas diva?persona as Sophie’s grandmother Ruby C who I swear Donna?implied was dead in the first film, but whatever! C she breaks into a long-sought cover of “Fernando” that caused my theater to erupt into applause. The end of?Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again?is pretty much a Cher concert of ABBA covers.?And honestly,?as?Benny Andersson, Bj?rn Ulvaeus, and Stig Anderson once wrote, how would you resist that?