When Paddington arrived on the big screen in 2014 it is safe to say there was a degree of scepticism. The prospect of a CGI-infused live action taking on Michael Bond's much-loved creation filled British audiences with trepidation, not aided by the last minute change from Colin Firth to Ben Whishaw as the voice of Paddington. It is safe to say the film quickly put those fears to rest, producing an endearingly charming take on the material. With the nations fears abated Paddington returns in an expansive, though equally sweet sequel.
The set-up this time is as lovely as one might expect. Paddington is on the search for the perfect gift for his Aunt Lucy's birthday. However his pursuit for this leads him to cross paths with a dastardly thief who frames the bear. With Paddington incarcerated, it is up to his adopted family to find the real thief and clear our hero's name.
As with the previous film, Paddington 2 just seems to click into place, with the intricate plots coming together wonderfully. Part of the success lies in Paddington himself, a technical mastery once again brought to life by the voice of Ben Wishaw. He again demonstrates why the late change in casting was an inspired choice, his voice bringing so much warmth, charm and innocence to the role, removing barriers that other CGI creations have had in the past. His is the performance the film is built around. This time around Paddington's world is wonderfully expanded, introducing the residents of
Deserving of fulsome praise for the continued success of Paddington are director Paul King and his co-writer Simon Farnaby (who also had a hand in the equally silly, though decidedly more adult, Mindhorn) who marshal the creative property into a story that both fits a modern audience and wallows in nostalgia. The
Paddington 2 is great, perfectly timed for the festive season. It is so good you can forgive the act of deus ex machina that brings the final act to a close. This is a book series in safe, capable hands and the reward for this is for the audience, who are treated to an exceedingly good film once every few years.