Paddington 2 – Reviewed By Trygg Johnson


Photo courtesy of Mind Waves News

Title: Paddington 2

Year of Release: 2017

Directed By: Paul King

Starring: Hugh Grant, Ben Wishaw, Brendon Gleeson


There are two kinds of people: Those who think Paddington 2 is nothing but CGI/Live Action schlock, and those who have actually seen the movie. Even if you don’t like this film, you have to admit, it’s nothing like Alvin and the Chipmunks or Garfield. This masterclass of children’s entertainment rival even the best of Pixar, Dreamworks, and Disney. Now, the first film (also directed by Paul King) is great. It’s wonderful, imaginative, and an all-around blast. However, if you take all those positive adjectives and double them, you get Paddington 2. Now, let me break down my love of this movie into a few points.

Ben Wishaw as Paddington is, for lack of a better term, perfect. He encapsulates everything great about the character. You’re always rooting for him, and his world view (while some would say naive) is genuinely heartwarming. With all that, iced with some fantastic visual effects, you completely buy that everyone else is always interacting with a walking, talking bear. 

Brendon Gleeson is probably best known for his role in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Professor Moody), which is a shame because his character (Nuckles McGinty) is one of the best characters in fiction. I’m exaggerating, of course – but you know it’s hard to put into words how he does what he does. Just everything down to how he says “marmalade” is so specific that it’s impossible to not  love him. 

Now, these two characters are perfect, and I would say that nobody upstages them if it weren’t for Hugh Grant. Here he plays one of the greatest villains in cinematic history. This time I’m not exaggerating. He gets all the best lines, the best sequences, and the best end credit scene ever. I don’t even want to say much more just because I want you to experience it firsthand. 

It’s a little difficult to say what makes a movie have “good direction,” but I probably won’t get much push back from saying this is a great example. It’s very clear that Paul King has a distinct style and tone that perfectly complements the storybook world of Paddington 2. It also has some impressive action set pieces, that, intentional or not, pay homage to the Mission Impossible franchise. There is as well a nice nod to the Birch Khalifa scene in Ghost Protocol, and the finale of Paddington 2 literally takes place on a speeding train. There are many more film references that I won’t spoil here, but suffice to say, they’re all wonderful. The sets have a Wes Anderson vibe, many of the edits remind you of Edgar Wright, and much of the humor is similar to that of Wallce and Gromit. It’s a top tier production.

Beyond all the great directing and terrific performances, Paddington 2 is just a well written comedy. The jokes are effortlessly woven in with setups and payoffs that aren’t always obvious. You might see a throw-away visual gag at the beginning that comes back in the best way, and it’s genuinely incredible. 

Paddington 2 is one of the best children’s movies ever. It’s entertaining for both kids and adults, and never feels like it’s pandering to either side. I didn’t even go into how heartwarming and sweet it is; I mean, this is like one of five other movies that I actually teared up at the end. I know, right? Paddington 2 of all movies. Whenever I tell people what I think of this movie they usually assume I’m kidding or being sarcastic, but I am not, Paddington 2 is just so lovable.

Final Rating: 5/5 stars