Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson, Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Simon Farnaby.

Director: Paul King

Release date: 10th November 2017

 

Our story begins a few bear years ago, in Darkest Peru. A young cub is rescued from raging waters by a Bear couple, Lucy and Pastuzo, who then decide to raise the small bear as their own. Years later we re-join Paddington, as he is now known, and the Brown family in Windsor Gardens. Their life is idyllic and happy, and their neighbours have grown to love Paddington. Paddington’s Aunt Lucy has a 100th birthday coming up and he dearly wants to get her something very special. On a trip to Mr Gruber’s (Jim Broadbent) Antiques Shop, he finds a beautiful pop-up book of London which he thinks is perfect. Only problem is, the book is very expensive and Paddington doesn’t have enough money. He decides to get a job to raise the funds, but it takes time. One day a travelling Steam Fair comes to town and the family is very excited. Local ‘celebrity’, Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant) is there to open the fair and Paddington is chosen to help him. A few days later, there is a dastardly robbery from the Antiques Shop and the book is stolen. Who has stolen the valuable book and why? The hunt is on!

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The Paddington Bear character was created by the author, Michael Bond back in the late 1950’s. The books tell the story of a young bear who arrives in London and is discovered at Paddington Station by the Brown Family, and they decide to take him home with them and name him after the place they found him in. The much loved bear has been featured in over 150 books by Michael Bond. Many of us will have grown up watching the Paddington BBC TV series, which began back in 1975.

I absolutely love Paddington and grew up reading the books in school and watched the TV series when I got home in the afternoons. It was an iconic story that everyone knew. I remember when I was very small, my neighbour made me a Paddington Bear, complete with duffle coat, hat and wellies. Me and my brother used to take the clothes off it and dress up in them! Lots of happy memories, wandering around in the duffle coat and boots.

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This new movie continues on from the capers in the first Paddington movie, which was released back in 2014 to critical acclaim. It’s not exactly clear what period of time has passed between the two films, but to be honest, I don’t really think it’s that relevant. Kids both young and old will love this movie and Hugh Grant was a genius choice for the role of Phoenix Buchanan. He’s very hammy and really doesn’t take himself seriously in any way, shape or form. I loved all of his costume changes and also the fact that there’s loads of his old headshots (recognisable from his varied career) framed all around his huge house. The cast is fantastic, a veritable who’s who of British acting talent; Joanna Lumley, Jim Broadbent, Richard Ayoade, Hugh Bonneville, Ben Miller and loads more. Brendan Gleeson is at his comedic best as a terrifying prison chef, and he gets a lot of the laughs throughout the film. Then there’s also the fact that the film is partly written by ‘Horrible Histories’ Simon Farnaby. If that’s not reason enough to watch this, then I don’t know what is!

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Too many fantastically funny bits to name, Paddington 2 is wonderfully charming and if you haven’t already fallen in love with this small bear, then prepare to do so with this new movie.

A really great, feel good family film, give Paddington 2 a watch. You won’t be disappointed.

Overall: 8.5/10

 

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