My My, How Can You Resist?
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again knows exactly what it is and never tries to be anything else. If you were a fan of the original film then this is more of the same with the updated soundtrack and new cast members. But even with that, the two movies have this undeniable charm to them that makes them a bit fun to watch despite the zaniness of its premise. This is definitely one of those films that depend on the type of movie you like to watch, and if you’re a fan of wacky, dramatic musicals then this is for you.
Acting as both a prequel and a sequel to the original film, Here We Go Again follows Sophie in the present day as she is trying to organize a grand opening of their hotel on the Greek Islands. Meanwhile, we also get flashbacks to Donna’s youth as she met Sophie’s fathers and came to live on the island. A few musical numbers sprinkled here and there and we have ourselves a pretty entertaining movie.
The ensemble cast features everyone from the first film plus some newcomers in the flashback sequences. All of the flashback actors/actresses do an excellent job of capturing the youth of the grown up characters fans have recognized. Lily James in particular does a great job as a younger Donna, able to capture her innocence and ambition exceptionally. Plus it’s an added benefit the James is a talented singer making the musical numbers she is in more fun to watch and listen to.
The first film was mainly just an extended “greatest hits ABBA music video” where the music was driving the story. That’s not to say the first movie was bad, it was just unbalanced with the songs they were singing and the meaning to the plot. But Here We Go Again focuses more on its narrative, jumping interchangeably between past and present to portray its story. The musical numbers are just an addition to its story which is an interesting one and keeps its entertainment value.
Those musical numbers this time are a treat. As I said earlier, James can really sing making it really eclectic to see her and the other performances really having fun. There are some repeats from the first film which bring some nostalgia, but there is a lot of new both having upbeat and somber numbers to carry through the run time. Some are forgettable, but the new ones with the new cast are charming and fun to watch.
I’ll be honest I enjoyed the first film and this one more than I care to admit. Sure the plot is a bit ridiculous, there are a lot of things that don’t make sense, and the musical numbers happen randomly but there is an undeniable charm and wit with these movies that can’t be ignored. If anything this is just an entertaining movie and an extension of what came before it. Nothing new is embraced, and they keep in line with what’s come before. Did we need a Mamma Mia sequel? No, and nothing is done to justified the presence. But the charm of the series and the musical numbers make it a feasible enough movie to enjoy this Summer!