Great Movie Musical
Attention, fans of Mamma Mia! Forget your worries about the questionable quality of a sequel to the wonderful film released ten years ago. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again should make you very happy. In fact, this second outing might be even better than the first. As an avid Mamma Mia fan, I’m not being sacrilegious. Both films are terrific, but Here We Go Again includes some delightful surprises, one of which has changed my opinion about the use of flashbacks in film storytelling. I’ve usually found that annoying. However, Mamma Mia 2 meshes them seamlessly and artistically into what’s happening on screen.
Another surprise involves an actor named Hugh Skinner, who portrays Colin Firth’s character (Harry) as a young man. His musical comedy talent wowed me in the rousing “Waterloo” number and made me yearn for days of yore when we could look forward to many musicals each year.
Don’t get me wrong, everyone delivers strong performances here, but I expected no less, especially from Lily James whose portrayal of a younger Meryl Streep’s character (Donna) generates such amazing electricity on screen. We knew she could sing because of her beautiful, haunting rendition of “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” during the end credits of Disney’s live action Cinderella. Happily, we get to hear more of her impressive voice -- and to see her vivacious moves while performing to various ABBA tunes.
This second movie takes place about five years after the first film. Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) faces problems with her boyfriend Sky (Dominic Cooper) while preparing a big party honoring her mother Donna (Meryl Streep), who passed on about a year ago. Invitations have gone out to everyone from the first movie. When Donna’s best friends Tanya (the always entertaining Christine Baranski) and Rosie (Julie Waters, so funny!) arrive, Sophie learns more about Donna’s life as a young woman, starting with a fabulous “When I Kissed the Teacher” production number.
We then start seeing how she meets Harry, Bill and Sam, Sophie’s father suspects. The three young actors (Skinner, Jeremy Irvine and Josh Dylan) seem perfect for these roles that are played as older guys by Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard and Pierce Brosnan.
We also watch the beginning of the singing Dynamos (Donna, Rosie and Tanya) as well as how Donna gets settled in her Greek island location, gives birth to a darling daughter (Sophie), and raises her without a father. The younger Rosie and Tanya are played by two very amusing ladies, Alexa Davies and Jessica Keenan Wynn, respectively.
I would be remiss not to mention the dramatic presentation of “Fernando” featuring Cher and Andy Garcia as well as the exuberant closing number “Super Trouper.” But most of all, I’m delighted to report that this is a great movie musical -- one that emphasizes friendship, family and fun!
Sequel or prequel, it’s okay.
Cheer MAMMA MIA all the way.
Great ABBA songs performed with flair.
Movies like this are so darn rare.
Location shots pleasure our eyes.
Romantic scenes evoke soft sighs.
A sense of fun takes us away
from cares we face most every day.
Here we go again, that’s sure true.
We see, enjoy and don’t feel blue.
So full of love and life and song,
MAMMA MIA 2 can’t go wrong.
(Released by Universal Pictures and rated “PG-13” for some suggestive material.)
For more information about Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes web site.