Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (Ol Parker, 2018) 4/5
Hold on to your hats boys and girls, because, yes, you’ve guessed it, here we go again! Benny and Bjorn have got the entire team back again to sing all of the greatest Abba anthems once again, this time with one big difference, Meryl Streep is severely lacking (spoilers ahead).
Part sequel and prequel, this second film in the franchise outlines the story of how Donna comes to her idyllic Greek Island and falls for the three handsome men that would turn out to be Sophie’s dads. Unfortunately for Donna (and the rest of the audience), she’s dead. As such, the contemporary storyline is largely missing Streep, however, that doesn’t stop the camp being turned up to 11. Lily James is a fantastic addition to the case as the young Donna and belts out ‘When I kissed a Teacher’, ‘Andante Andante’ and, the classic wedding dancefloor filler, ‘Waterloo’. James proves to be every bit capable of carrying this film and it is this that makes the story so worthwhile and without her, it would have been poorer.
In essence, this film brings everything that we loved about the first film and added just about every feather boa and flared jean you could ever imagine. Ol Parker (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) knows how to make these types of films, and the cast are clearly having a ball. Standouts though include Christine Baranski, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan and, of course, CHER. The iconic diva might be in a total of 23 seconds of the story (I might be being dramatic there.) but her presence is all kinds of fabulous and she can still belt out a tune.
The only thing that would have made this experience much better would have been to know exactly what caused Donna’s demise. Without this, we are left hanging slightly, thinking, did she die on a Greek fishing accident?
In sum, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! Is probably the most fun you will have in a cinema this year. A word of caution though, if you are a fan of Streep, she will be in even less of this film than Cher.