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Released: 10th November 2017

Directed By: Paul King

Starring: Sally Hawkins, Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant

Reviewed By: Van Connor

Everyone’s favourite bear returns to our screens with this delightful sequel that takes everything you loved about the first Paddington and runs it through a Grand Budapest filter to ostensibly become The Pawshank Redemption. A definite case of simply giving an audience more of what they loved, Paddington 2’s a riot – a fun, charming, and even occasionally teary adventure.

Ben Whishaw’s back (so to speak) in the duffel coat, as Paddington – now a permanent resident of Windsor Gardens with adopted family, the Browns – sets out to find the perfect gift for beloved Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday. Setting his heart on a one-of-a-kind pop-up book of London, he soon finds himself framed for breaking and entering by a devious villain (Hugh Grant) with his own designs on the literary prize – leaving the Browns to try and clear his name, while he attempts to adjust to life in the slammer.

Bursting at the seams with unrelenting charm, Paddington 2 lives up to and even periodically exceeds the high-watermark of its 2014 predecessor, with a game cast very much up for some fun and frolics, a (still) perfect bit of voice casting in Whishaw, and – correcting the only real failing of the first movie – a menacing and genuinely captivating villain in the mincing hilarity of Hugh Grant.

It’s fun for all the family, and yet a perfectly engaging winter adventure for a solo adult viewing too. The Grand Budapest Hotel nods make for a solid chuckle and keep things genuinely interesting, while some of the gags (including a brilliant recurring one about a fictional Tory MP) will have you laughing til you’re ready to burst. Simon Farnaby and Paul King’s script absolutely knows how to draw the best from their source material, and the results leave Paddington 2 hands down the most charming family flick of the year.