Lov­able bear Padding­ton pits his wits against a wily thief in Padding­ton 2, Josh Brolin and Miles Teller play coura­geous fire­fight­ers in a dra­matic true story and a sin­gle mother and her six-yearold daugh­ter defy their im­pov­er­ished cir­cum­stances. Da­mon Sm

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - What's On - - NEWS -

The ea­gerly-an­tic­i­pated se­quel to the film Padding­ton hits the big screen


The bare ne­ces­si­ties of a ful­fill­ing life will come to you if you fol­low the paw prints of Michael Bond’s beloved Peru­vian bear.

So sayeth di­rec­tor Paul King’s un­abashedly sweet, whole­some and crowd­pleas­ing se­quel, which car­ries a res­o­lutely old­fash­ioned mes­sage of hope and com­mu­nity spirit, with a nim­ble script co-writ­ten by Si­mon Farn­aby.

The vil­lain this time is a schem­ing the­atri­cal ham, played to the comic hilt by Hugh Grant, who dons a wim­ple and knight’s ar­mour to steal hid­den trea­sure that should have been claimed by an an­ces­tor.

The ac­tor mer­ci­lessly pokes fun at him­self – note the floppy-haired por­trait from glory days in Four Wed­dings And A Fu­neral on the an­tag­o­nist’s man­tel­piece. Padding­ton (voiced by Ben Whishaw) is hap­pily in­stalled in the at­tic of 32 Windsor Gar­dens, fam­ily home of fuddy-duddy in­sur­ance as­ses­sor Henry Brown (Hugh Bon­neville), his freespir­ited wife Mary (Sally Hawkins) and their chil­dren, Judy (Madeleine Har­ris) and Jonathan (Sa­muel Joslin). Dur­ing a visit to an­tiques dealer Mr Gru­ber (Jim Broad­bent), Padding­ton un­earths an old “popping book” of Lon­don, which would make the per­fect present for Aunt Lucy (Imelda Staunton).

Alas, the one-of-a-kind tome is ex­pen­sive. Un­per­turbed, Padding­ton cleans win­dows for neigh­bours and wields a broom in a bar­ber shop to meet the price tag. Hi­lar­i­ously vain, fad­ing ac­tor Phoenix Buchanan (Grant) steals the book and Padding­ton is wrongly sen­tenced to 10 years for “grand theft and griev­ous bar­berly harm”. Be­hind bars, Padding­ton meets Knuck­les Mcginty (Bren­dan Glee­son), who “don’t do noth­ing for no-one for noth­ing”. The bear’s in­nate good­ness weak­ens Knuck­les’ re­solve and they col­lab­o­rate in the prison can­teen to serve home­made con­fec­tions to in­mates. Mean­while, the Browns vow to clear Padding­ton’s name and Mary iden­ti­fies

Phoenix as a prime sus­pect.

“Ac­tors are some of the most evil, de­vi­ous peo­ple on the planet,” agrees house­keeper Mrs Bird (Julie Wal­ters).“they lie for a liv­ing!” Padding­ton 2 is de­light­fully en­ter­tain­ing, with glorious set-pieces in­clud­ing a fan­tasy se­quence. The pro­duc­tion de­sign is as vivid as the per­for­mances, which in­clude a rogu­ish turn from Glee­son and prat­falls aplenty cour­tesy of Bon­neville. Once again, Whishaw’s vo­cal per­for­mance tugs our heart­strings, ad­her­ing to the sage words of Aunt Lucy: “If you’re kind and po­lite, ev­ery­thing will come right.”

Padding­ton 2 (PG, 103 mins) is out in cin­e­mas on Fri­day, Novem­ber 10.

Padding­ton Bear voiced by Ben Whishaw

Hugh Bon­neville as Henry Brown, Sa­muel Joslin as Jonathan Brown, Sally Hawkins as Mary Brown, Julie Wal­ters as Mrs Bird and Madeleine Har­ris as Judy Brown in Padding­ton 2

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