Mamma Mia! Here We Go again indeed. When I first saw Mamma Mia a couple of years ago I was not a fan. The acting was hoaky, the characters and their “motivations” were laughable and the quality of singers in the film fluctuated from decent to, let’s be honest, Pierce Brosnan. The film was a surprise hit especially here in Ireland. It is number 4 at the Irish Box Office.
Now years later we get the sequel we never asked for because there are still Abba songs that weren’t covered in the first film. The film stars Lily James, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Dominic Cooper and is set five years after the events of the first film.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again opens with the soft musings of Sophie (Seyfried) musing on her past. She is re-opening the hotel her mother owns and is hoping to bring everyone together after a tragedy that happened prior to the events of the film (I won’t go deeper into the film as this is quite the spoiler). As we follow Sophie on her latest adventure she reflects on what her life is like now compared to what her mother Donna (Streep) was doing at the time. From there the film jumps from the past telling the story of Donna and how she met Sophies three fathers to Sophie trying to decide what she needs to do to live the best life she wants to live.
I’m just going to cut to the chase with this review. I was not looking forward to Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. The first one made me cringe so much. This was mainly to do with the dialogue being spouted by the cast and the poor way the songs were injected into the story. Now Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again has similar issues the dialogue can also make you cringe and the songs still come out of nowhere at times but it is to a lesser extent. Not only that but the story of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is surprisingly emotional. I was brought to tears on two separate occasions and the reason being that the team behind the film take a risk with the story at the very beginning of the film. It could have crashed and burned but instead, it gave the film a powerful emotional core that I didn’t feel the first film had.
Now the returning cast are still as bats**t crazy as they were in the previous film but this time around the cast, Firth, and Skarsgård in particular, are having an absolute blast and it translates to an energy that radiates off the screen. Making you the audience become infected with the toe-tapping fun this film wants you to feel.
The best part of the film comes from Lily James who plays a young Donna. She is effortlessly charming, like many of the people in this film you will fall in love with her almost instantly. She has amazing chemistry with every cast member and that is needed when she is introduced to three separate suitors during the film. Also, it doesn’t hurt that Lily James has a great singing voice that can do both the softer and the more high energy Abba songs.
On the technical side of the film, the choreography of the dance numbers are on point and the cinematography is beautiful. The various locations that Donna visits look absolutely stunning giving this a warm and dreamlike fashion.
Listen I can’t believe I’m saying this – see Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again especially if you’re a fan of musicals because it is an absolutely brilliant film filled with heart, great musical performances, and a surprisingly touching story.