A bear ne­ces­sity

Daily Mirror - - MOVIES -

PADDING­TON 2 Cert PG, Run­ning time 103mins ★★★★★

The small bear with the huge heart re­turns for an­other fab­u­lous and funny ad­ven­ture. Mix­ing live ac­tion with CGI, it’s a won­der­fully en­joy­able and brightly coloured romp through a pic­ture post­card de­pic­tion of Lon­don and beyond.

Ben Whishaw once again voices our mar­malade sand­wich-lov­ing hero, breath­ing a gal­lant hu­man­ity into the su­perbly an­i­mated bear.

He’s set­tled into life with his adopted fam­ily in their com­fort­able cor­ner of Lon­don, and Hugh Bon­neville and Sally Hawkins re­turn as the heads of the Brown fam­ily, along with the rest of the orig­i­nal cast. Our furry friend from dark­est Peru’s trou­ble be­gins this time when he is ac­cused of steal­ing a valu­able chil­dren’s pop-up book. So his fam­ily and friends must rally round to un­mask the real thief and prove Padding­ton’s in­no­cence. The first film of 2014 was an un­ex­pected de­light and a huge box of­fice hit. This joy­ous se­quel is even better, in large part due to hav­ing a more en­ter­tain­ing vil­lain. Hugh Grant demon­strates his ge­nius for light com­edy as a de­vi­ous ac­tor fallen on hard times. He’s the film’s most valu­able ad­di­tion in a bril­liant cast of de­ter­mined scene steal­ers in­clud­ing Bren­dan Glee­son, Julie Wal­ters, Jim Broad­bent, Peter Ca­paldi, San­jeev Bhaskar and Tom Conti.

The pro­duc­tion de­sign de­lights in ana­logue tech­nol­ogy, with an ob­vi­ous love of wheels, cogs, gears and locks. An enor­mous print­ing press com­petes for at­ten­tion with glo­ri­ous steam lo­co­mo­tives. With a bliss­ful ab­sence of smart­phones or lap­tops, this is a film to in­spire chil­dren of all ages to build, draw, cook and sew. It is a tremen­dous an­ti­dote to the dig­i­tal demons of the re­cent Emoji Movie.

There’s an em­pha­sis on good man­ners, kind­ness, friend­ship and op­ti­mism. Though it’s care­ful never to men­tion Christ­mas, the script’s mes­sage of love and peace to all per­sons (and bears) is per­fect prepa­ra­tion for the fes­tive sea­son.

This joy­ous se­quel is even better, in large part due to hav­ing a more en­ter­tain­ing vil­lain. Hugh Grant is the film’s best ad­di­tion

WICKED: Hugh Grant makes a great vil­lain

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