Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks The Interview – Review

by Frankie Harlow

Social media and the internet were once tools of connection, information…and porn. As humanity has grown and progressed, it has now become a source of societies distraction and rage. For example, I’m meant to be summarising my feelings for Wreck-It Ralph’s sequel Ralph Wrecks the Internet in a neat little review but cannot help but paw over Twitter, Facebook, and all the over apps stored on my phone with angry little red notifications and humorous witty memes.

The above paragraph really sums up my feeling towards Ralph Wrecks the Internet; a weakily put together movie intent on bringing a vintage arcade gaming character into our world of distraction and online-validation that could barely hold my attention beyond it’s near two-hour run time. 

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We return to the arcade in this follow up to Wreck-It Ralph where Ralph and Vanellope are living the good life. Ralph is still a villain but is no longer villainised and Vanellope has returned to her rightful place as the princess and best racer of Sugar Rush. Ralph is very happy with his life, enjoying the repetition and safety in knowing what happens everyday, while Vanellope is chafing at the bit to have adventure and the unknown return to her life. In an attempt to provide this to her, as they are Best Friends!, Ralph changes a course in Vanellope’s game, which she loves, but causes the girl playing the game to break the steering wheel as Vanellope fights against her control. There is a quick discussion about buying the replacement part from the internet which proves to be too expensive for the arcade owner who unplugs the game and says that it will be taken for scrap at the end of the week. Ralph and Vanellope then end up going into the Internet to buy the replacement part. While there and trying to raise the money to buy the part, Vanellope finds the excitement and adventure that she is looking for, driving a wedge between Ralph and herself. Can they raise the money in time? Can they work out the real meaning of friendship? Can they stop making the same pun over and over again?
The  first film was successful because the characters were great, it was funny and the plot was concise. However, in  this second act, the Ralph franchise becomes  sloppy film that doesn’t know what to do with its characters and is heavy handed with the lessons it is trying to impart. The jokes are weak and some running jokes should be buried where they can bother no one ever again.

Setting this in the internet and referencing that culture makes the film feel old when it is a brand new release. The breaking of the internet that is referenced in the title happened in 2014 (scary but that is what the internet tells me). Animation takes a long time and even if they had had the most on trend teenager humanly possible there telling them what to reference, it will still be out of date when it is released as it isn’t being released right at that moment and the internet is often about the zeitgeist. Ironically the fast movement of trends and how something goes from being the “It Thing” to being old in a moment is actually referenced in the film.

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The Disney princess scenes that have been shown everywhere are the best moments but most of it was shown in the trailers. Despite having the bulk of the jokes and an undeniably catchy song, it cannot save an entire film. Ralph Breaks The Internet does have exquisite animation, pretty much a staple of the Walt Disney Animation Studio, and the way that they animate the different game characters  based on their game and their role in it continues to be a brilliant and beautiful touch.

The real issue this film is that it feels like several short films that have been hamhocked together resulting in a hot mess. I want the short of Vanellope and the princesses. I want the short of what happens when Felix and Calhoun (who are underrused in this sequel) adopt the Sugar Rush racers. I want a short of Ralph and Vanellope exploring the internet. What I don’t want is this confusion of a film where the end lesson is so unnuanced in its delivery that is loses any impact it may have.


Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks The Internet is out in cinemas now!

Creed II – Review

by Catherine Courtney

Let’s get straight to the point: I have never seen a Rocky film. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to, but unless someone is going to make me watch it with them, I’m probably never going to make that choice on my own and will re-watch Easy A for the umpteenth time.

 Rocky Balboa and his story is so entrenched in modern culture that in the first Creed, I remember thinking ‘that moment seems like an in-joke but I can’t remember why’. It’s enough for me. I don’t need to know what the in-joke is, knowing there is a joke is usually as interesting as finding out the actual joke. Creed was highly likeable in 2015 – it stood alone enough for me to enjoy it, so I was fully ready for the next one to see how the character becomes his own.

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Here we are: Apollo Creed who is now comfortable in his life with a woman who loves him, a trainer who is basically a father to him, and a vast crowd of adoring fans chanting his name and metaphorically high fiving him whenever he feels like. He smashes through his first opponent, to finally win the title of World Heavyweight Champion… but something’s off. He doesn’t really connect with the moment, still just fighting for possession of a Mustang. An ominous competitor appears –  to avenge his father’s defeat thirty years before against Rocky Balboa – Viktor Drago. Except that guy’s father is the reason Creed’s father is dead, so now it’s just basically revenge on revenge on revenge – fear against pride, endurance against resilience, fist against fist, 

For a film that’s trying to progress a story that’s been around for over 30 years, it’s about right they moved things along. Creed II reflects the tale that’s known so well, putting its own tiny spin on it. What about the loser? What about the shame, and further losses that loser experienced after their last fight, the people who abandoned them, the advertising deals they never got, the struggles they had to make ends meet? 

The film is some meta version of itself; full of parallels and contrasts. There’s enough for them to definitely be doing it intentionally. Rocky’s restaurant so lovingly built in honour of his wife is empty, Adonis’ fast food store that his father left him but he barely acknowledges is overflowing with patrons. Viktor Drago is a warrior trained in fear and brute strength, while Creed is a fighter trained in agility and surrounded by people who love him and build him up. Both boxers are incredibly special (and the training that the two actors have put in for these roles can’t go unmissed – see Creed spar!) but both have completely different backgrounds, motivations, and so their stories both go down the exact different routes we think they will. 

It’s interesting to think how far Adonis has come; from the stubborn angry kid we saw at the start of the first film, resentful of his father and in some ways denying his existence, by the time this film gets into full swing it’s one of his inspirations to keep going. You get to follow through his struggles with him, being a part of his conversations with all the people in his life as well as joining in his physical pains. Jordan carries this well – he’s light but strong, emotionally deep but youthful in the part. Meanwhile, Drago is the Bane of this universe. A silent, solid rock of a man, he has been brought up in the East trained solely for the ring, in a life that seems of little luxury, under severe discipline of his father to bring honour back to the family name, and maybe convince his mother to come home (that’s some whole other messed up section that needs its own essay. BAD IVAN.). He’s given little chance to build his own person, few lines to shine a light on his opinions, and minimal screen time. It’s his father who does the ‘villain’s monologue’ – Viktor barely gets to nod his head in agreement. He’s just in this story to break people.

You can’t help but imagine young Drago searching for another career path like being a chef. These fists were for kneading dough, not jaws!

In fact. there are better uses for Drago’s hands, such as;
Pastry chef/Breadmaker
Massage therapist
Playdoh tester
Sign Language Presenter
Pottery designer
Blackjack dealer
Jewellery model
Literally so many other things

This is Steven Caple Jr.’s biggest film so far and it is something visually spectacular. We’re treated to three fights, each of which are their own special moment. Watching boxing is hard work when it’s convincing; you feel each hit and praise each dodge. The second fight even comes with a first-person view so you just can go ahead and join in that fight whether you want to or not… (the camera-work sometimes fits in the moment but there’s some scenes where it sadly doesn’t quite match with the flow.) But the filmmaker also plays with the use of light vs dark throughout the film. There’s  tortured decision making in the middle of the night,  frank conversations in the shadows, confessions in daylight that all frame this moody story. For the allure of the sparkling lights when it comes our our characters big moments, anything goes, and it works. The glamour of their jobs help to highlight what real life really looks like, when they’re hiding behind a tinted car window or sitting in the cold Philadelphia air.

Now look, let’s be realistic. There’s very few reasons to complain about a film where Michael B. Jordan is sweaty and shirtless a lot, but this film actually shines most when the smaller characters are given centre stage. Bianca’s hearing impairment is a daily challenge for her, and (spoiler alert) her fears for her unborn child are legitimate and heartfelt. Mary Anne has lost a husband to the sport her pseudo-son is determined to dedicate his life to, and her juggle of pride and fear is evident. Stallone being nominated for so many awards for the first Creed film was a surprise, yes, but the sincerity and humility of his character continues into this film – he has no desire for the limelight, a taste for the simple things in life, and a serene presence that is impressively captivating, with a portion of the soundtrack built in to reflect his personality amongst the others.

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Luckily, the film doesn’t take itself too seriously; a mix of touching moments between the characters help to break up the angst and struggles that our favourites are facing. Tessa Thompson returns as Creed’s love interest and their chemistry feels natural (even if all their lines don’t) and Rocky’s banter with the lead is brotherly and playful whether in the motivational speeches or the more heartfelt bromance scenes. Creed’s own mother Mary Anne (played by Phylicia Rashad) is a force to reckon with – a twitch of her eyebrow could win its own award, and she brings her own special touch to the story away from the boxing ring.

The music carries the film well, homages to the classic theme tunes of course appear at the special moments when the audience are close enough to physically jump up and down in their seat, and new tracks written for the film also sit well and feel well-placed. A training montage mid-show feels so well put together it’s hard to know if the song was written for the scene or the scene was edited for the song, you almost want to lift that giant tyre yourself.

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This film is built for a purpose itself too – revenge, redemption and reunion. Yes the story is predictable, even some of the subplots, but it’s a fun romp and a harmless one at that. You’re cheering the characters on right till the end, and if the screening I was in is anything to go by, you won’t be the only one. The film is big and flashy and wins in lots of different ways, and no doubt Hollywood will see the dollar signs and think it’s worth making Adonis Creed a regular fixture in our lives. The team have made something special in this Creed series, and I dread a third.

Let’s all go see this film, then let’s be like Creed – let’s go find something worth fighting for.


Creed II is out in cinemas 30th November

 

Three Identical Strangers – Review

At the beginning of Tim Wardle’s absorbing roller-coaster ride of a documentary, Three Identical Strangers, middle-aged Robert Shafran sits down in front of a camera to tell us a story. It’s 1981. He has just arrived at college. He is greeted by a whole bunch of people who are happy to see him. ‘Hey, glad you’re back.’ When you turn heads on your first day and elicit such positivity, it’s a dream come true. Only Robert has not earned such good will. He is mistaken for someone else. That someone is Eddy Galland, the biological brother he never knew. A guy at college takes Robert to a pay phone (remember those) and calls up Eddy. They meet – and the story ends up in a newspaper. But then – hey, ho – Robert and Eddy look exactly like another young man, David Kellman. They meet. They have exactly the same posture. Before long, the three young men can finish each other’s sentences. They all were wrestlers. Even though they were raised separately in three different foster homes, how is such synchronicity even possible? Indeed, what are the odds that Robert would go to the same college as Eddy?

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These questions are answered – and then some – by a documentary that explores the aftermath of the discovery. They are led to the Louise Wise adoption agency responsible for placing them in three separate households. Why were the brothers split up? Nominally, they are told, ‘couples would rather adopt one child than three’. But the foster parents were never given a choice. Indeed, one of them says, ‘we wouldn’t have taken them all. No question.’

Wardle tells the triplets story as they experienced it, complete with clips from talk shows, newspaper articles and follow up stories, as well as their cameo in Susan Seidelman’s Desperately Seeking Susan, a comedy about identity transference that gave Madonna her first lead role and a hit song on the soundtrack (‘Into the Groove’). Indeed, Robert, Eddy and David went into business together, exploiting their fame by opening a New York restaurant called Triplets. .

After visiting the adoption agency and getting insufficient answers, one of the brothers went back inside to collect an umbrella. He discovered a group of people clinking champagne glasses, ‘like they’d dodged a bullet’.  On their behalf, Wardle and his team make some uncomfortable discoveries.

To say anything more about the story would spoil the film’s emotional and intellectual impact. The documentary takes you to the heart of some difficult issues. There are some surprising interviews – the film is as much a triumph of investigation as much as it is of storytelling.

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There is, naturally, another way in which the story could have been told, raising questions about whether documentaries should be about individuals or ideas. Wardle is not the first documentary filmmaker who tried to tell the triplets story. There is at least one television documentary that was completed but suppressed.

Since it opened in the United States on 29 June, Three Identical Strangers has grossed more than $12 million, twice as much as Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11 /9 though slightly less than RBG, a documentary about Supreme Court Justice and feminist role model Ruth Bader Ginsberg – the other US documentary hit of the summer, grossing $14 million. In America at least, documentaries perform better in movie theatres than so-called Sundance ‘hit’ movies like Blindspotting (US box office at end of theatrical release $4 million). This trend could actually lead to more narrative documentaries being released in cinemas but fewer feature films. Sundance 2019 could indicate whether the trend is here to stay.


Three Identical Strangers is out 30th December! 

Anna and the Apocalypse – Review

Given that the United Kingdom has produced some of the most enduring popular music of the 20th Century, it is surprising that it hasn’t produced more enduring, original musicals. On the stage, Andrew Lloyd Webber and his collaborators have crowded out the market for over 40 years, taking inspiration from pre-existing texts, some of which were not written by Brits – The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, Cats after T.S. Eliot’s poems.

The best musicals focus on aspiration, with visionary protagonists singing their dreams, The Greatest Showman, beloved of this website, being the most recent example. In the movies, the last great British screen musicals were Tommy (1975), based on a rock opera by The Who, about a mute, visually and aurally impaired young man (Roger Daltrey) with a talent for pinball, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), directed by an Australian and featuring Americans in the leads. Although as far as musical sequences are concerned, the finale of Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979) – ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ – was a suitable epitaph. I must confess that I’m not a fan of Pink Floyd: The Wall filmed by Alan Parker – it doesn’t work as a narrative. As for Absolute Beginners – don’t get me started.

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The non-zombie antagonist is Savage (Paul Kaye, whose credits include playing a zombie at the Winchester pub in Shaun of the Dead, an inspiration behind the film). He desperately can’t wait to be King – sorry, Head Master – once the current incumbent has retired, and displays questionable attitudes towards the teenagers performing in the end of term show. Antagonist number two is Anna’s ex, Nick (Ben Wiggins) who cyber-shamed Anna, but wants her to crawl back to him.

In the film, written by Alan McDonald and Ryan McHenry and directed by John McPhail (2015’s Where Do We Go From Here) zombies turn up gradually and are mostly older people. As with Shaun of the Dead, the fun comes from the kids crunching the head with bowling balls and other appropriate props, which only goes so far. Anna’s imperative is to rescue her father and, erm, catch a plane.

In many ways, Anna and the Apocalypse is an anti-musical. Zombie hordes place a real dampener on ambition and there is pathos when characters we care about are bitten. Songs like ‘No such thing as a Hollywood ending’ underline the point. Ultimately, the film turns on a clash between Anna and Savage, whose twisted ambition is aided by circumstance.

Musicals are judged by their songs – their hooks. Sadly, the tunes here don’t linger, the lyrics nonsensical. When one character sings ‘I need a human voice’, you wonder, ‘as opposed to a Google assistant?’ In a sense, the zombie musical has already been done to death in the extended pop video Michael Jackson: Thriller directed by John Landis. The image of the King of Pop dancing with a collection of grave dodgers pretty much shows the limits of the sub-genre.

Nevertheless, the cast are infectiously personable and there’s definitely a market for a film that bunches together genre tropes and takes them on the road. Ultimately, Anna and the Apocalypse is a film that wishes it was The Rocky Horror Picture Show but doesn’t enshrine the pleasures of the musical in a horror movie context. I’m still waiting for the next great British movie musical. Director Danny Boyle and writer Richard Curtis, working with Ed Sheeran, Lily James and Kate McKinnon, just might be making one, due out in September 2019.


Anna and the Apocalypse is out 30th November 

 

In general, when the British offer an aspiration, it doesn’t work out too well – partitioning India for example, and, of course, Brexit. That said I’m sure someone will propose a musical biography of Sir James Dyson entitled Vacuum.

In recent years, filmmakers have turned to the so-called jukebox musical, constructing a narrative around pre-existing songs, with the most successful example being Mamma Mia (2008), structured from songs by the, er, Swedish super group, Abba. Lower budget versions have included Sunshine on Leith (2013), featuring songs by the Scottish group the Proclaimers – Meryl Streep was not even a consideration.

This brings us finally to the Scottish original musical, Anna and the Apocalypse, about a group of young people who wake up to find their town taken over by zombies. Structurally, it has two problems: the protagonist’s aspiration – to travel to Australia – isn’t clearly linked to the zombie apocalypse plot. Secondly, at least half the cast – well, more than half – can’t sing. They’re undead and, as such, have trouble auto-tuning.

Experts on musicals will tell you that the songs are supposed to drive the plot or at least sum up an attitude. When Timon and Pumbaa sing ‘Hakuna Matata’ in The Lion King they are making a ‘problem free philosophy’ attractive to young Simba – though I have no idea whether, in the forthcoming live action remake, Seth Rogen, voicing Pumbaa, will follow it by offering young Simba a bag of weed with his trademark snigger. Probably not, it’s a Disney movie.

The songs by Roddy Hart and Tommy Reilly certainly start with an objective: Anna (Ella Hunt, Ellie Marsden in TV’s Cold Feet) sings ‘I know I must break away’, which is a classic musical sentiment. Her widower dad (Mark Benton) who works at her school as a janitor wants her to go to university. Anna would rather go to Australia first, financed by her part-time job at a bowling alley. Her best friend, John (Malcolm Cumming) is an enthusiastic cheerleader, but so obviously in love with her that his heart is melting inside his Christmas jumper. Why Anna doesn’t have a girl as her best friend is a bit of a mystery. The only other sympathetic females are lesbian American Steph (Sarah Swire, the film’s choreographer) – key line, ‘Christmas is my least favourite ‘C’ word’ – who has been abandoned by her parents and Lisa (Marli Siu), who is appearing in the school’s Christmas musical and has a film geek, Chris (Christopher Leveaux) for a bestie.

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The non-zombie antagonist is Savage (Paul Kaye, whose credits include playing a zombie at the Winchester pub in Shaun of the Dead, an inspiration behind the film). He desperately can’t wait to be King – sorry, Head Master – once the current incumbent has retired, and displays questionable attitudes towards the teenagers performing in the end of term show. Antagonist number two is Anna’s ex, Nick (Ben Wiggins) who cyber-shamed Anna, but wants her to crawl back to him.

In the film, written by Alan McDonald and Ryan McHenry and directed by John McPhail (2015’s Where Do We Go From Here) zombies turn up gradually and are mostly older people. As with Shaun of the Dead, the fun comes from the kids crunching the head with bowling balls and other appropriate props, which only goes so far. Anna’s imperative is to rescue her father and, erm, catch a plane.

In many ways, Anna and the Apocalypse is an anti-musical. Zombie hordes place a real dampener on ambition and there is pathos when characters we care about are bitten. Songs like ‘No such thing as a Hollywood ending’ underline the point. Ultimately, the film turns on a clash between Anna and Savage, whose twisted ambition is aided by circumstance.

Musicals are judged by their songs – their hooks. Sadly, the tunes here don’t linger, the lyrics nonsensical. When one character sings ‘I need a human voice’, you wonder, ‘as opposed to a Google assistant?’ In a sense, the zombie musical has already been done to death in the extended pop video Michael Jackson: Thriller directed by John Landis. The image of the King of Pop dancing with a collection of grave dodgers pretty much shows the limits of the sub-genre.

Nevertheless, the cast are infectiously personable and there’s definitely a market for a film that bunches together genre tropes and takes them on the road. Ultimately, Anna and the Apocalypse is a film that wishes it was The Rocky Horror Picture Show but doesn’t enshrine the pleasures of the musical in a horror movie context. I’m still waiting for the next great British movie musical. Director Danny Boyle and writer Richard Curtis, working with Ed Sheeran, Lily James and Kate McKinnon, just might be making one, due out in September 2019.


Anna and the Apocalypse is out 30th November 

Hotel Artemis – Review

We can all agree that a lot of movie sins can be forgiven if the movie is fun. Now, we’re not talking about your moving and quite dramas or gore exploitation films that aren’t quite exactly rambunctious thrill rides. I’m talking about comedies, action-thrillers, and you’re yearly blockbusters. If you want to get me into a movie, you’re going to have to be fun. It’s a kinetic energy that will soothe how nonsensical Jupiter Ascending is or that I’ll probably go watch Mamma Mia! repeatedly. You make something fun that it can brighten up your day and make you ignore the cracks.

Well, I’m trying to ignore the cracks with Hotel Artemis because it’s so absolutely entertaining.

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Hotel Artemis is set in a dystopian Los Angeles circa 2028. With water being monopolised by the rich, the country has descended into chaos. In a secretive building (it has the biggest neon sign in the world but, yes, sure, it’s a mysterious place,) a make-shift and glamorous hospital caters to the weary criminals. Run by The Nurse, this pretty exclusive place will bandage up bullet wounds, fix your scars, and never judge you for your career choices. As long as you keep to the rules, that is, and, boy, some criminals are finding that very, very tricky.

Look, I’ll be honest; I’m really fighting my brain with this one. There is a logic gnawing its way through my enjoyment that is trying really hard to pick apart this film. I’m going to lay it on the line (because I’m professional and I want to be objective,) but Hotel Artemis has a lot of faults. There are plot elements that make little sense, characters that appear merely to chew the scenery, and the future setting serves little purpose than to show-off some cool technology such as a 3D printed liver. And Zachary Quinto is barely used.

However, Hotel Artemis has that beautiful movie elixir that skirts over a lot of the mistakes with this golden energy – fun. Jodie Foster really fleshes out her character of The Nurse and is having a whale of a time performing this skittish, cock-mouthed person with backstory, edge, and believe it or not, growth. Like her character she stiches and holds the piece together with her particular set of skills and one-liners.

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Foster is flanked by impressive caricature folk who serve a purpose in one way or another. Sterling K. Brown is always a pleasure to watch and Sofia Boutella is a great femme fatale character. Dave Bautista plays the same character he always plays and yet it is genius: A big muscle-man who could kill you but also cuddle you at the same time. Charlie Day, Jeff Goldblum, and Jenny Slate are good additions too.

Drew Pearce is an inventive story-teller and this work is a testament to how he can bring big names in and make them all work in a charming and charged manner. He also develops a good looking vision; an art decor hotel filled with state of the art technology. It’s almost like a steam-punk styled movie and is reminiscent of movies such as Repo! the Genetic Opera. Everyone involved is enthusiastic and enjoyable to watch in a movie that is trashy in places, thrilling in others, and hilariously brilliant at times.

Through the drudgery and dust, may this shine a big neon sign and make you check in for a excellent stay.


Hotel Artemis is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now! 

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – Review

Movies should absolutely transport you to a brand new world. Whether that is a dark and seedy path or whether it is littered with joy, a film;’s job is to take you there. And they’ll choose whatever means necessary…

So if Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again wants to put Colin Firth in a blue and purple flared jumpsuit alongside mother-flippin’ Cher just so I can be transported to a feel-good Greek island of song and romance…then so be it!

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Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is an amalgamation of a prequel and a sequel. It stars all the old characters from before whilst adding younger versions of them…and mother-flippin’ Cher. The film picks up many years after the events of the first (and many years before,) as Sophie tries to build the hotel to Donna’s exact vision. Missing her mother, old friends and lovers reminisce on the impact that wild spirited American girl had on them as she chased her heart to Kalokairi those many years ago. With flashbacks informing the action of the present, this rambunctious musical entry will remind you of the importance of family….and ABBA!

Let’s cut right to the chase; Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again isn’t a ground-breaking piece of art. It plays fast and loose with the franchise’s own backstory just so it can fit songs into the character’s mouths. If we’re being honest, it’s true essence is trash. Not the gritty, trawl through the garbage kind of film that plumps up midnight cult movie screenings.  But the glitzy, five-pint-karaoke type of trash that embraces every multi-coloured spark of cheap Poundland confetti and throws it in your faces as you croon your way through I Have A Dream….following the fiftieth tequila shot, of course. Mamma Mia is cheesy, gooey, over-the-top-ness with added weirdness on the side.

Yet it embraces it so openly and so wholeheartedly that you can’t help but fall in love with it. The movie is a genuinely feel-good family film (which is weird because it revolves around a woman sleeping with three men.) The music is on point; revisiting old favourites and ones that hadn’t yet been explored. If you think you know ABBA, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with songs you may not have heard before. There are some beautiful and endearing music sequences such as the Dancing Queen boat ride, a pure and epically energetic moment that’ll make your heart soar.

The movie is also technically well done. The choreography of the dancing is mind-blowing (and makes you forgive some pretty sketchy singing) and the transitions from different eras are really savvy. It’s beautiful to look at; a sun-soaked island complete immersed in the world of Abba, and it is drench in a whole spectrum of sunny sea-type colours.

New actors such as Lily James, Jeremy Irvine, Hugh Skinner, and more portray the younger characters of Donna, Sam, and Harry et al. The upcoming performers intricately inhibit the tone and essence of their older counterparts, immersing you in this seventies era throwback perfectly.  Just a small note: Lily James cannot possibly be that charming in real life, can she? Because every film I’ve seen her in just oozes with loveliness and sweetness. The older patch are in-tune (not vocally but theatrically,)

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Plus there is Cher. Look, her arrival on the big screen caused so much pandemonium in my cinema screen. That is an iconic woman right there and, happily, her presence is so much more than a fleeting cameo. It serves you the heartiest of chuckles and lets you holler with glee.

Noneseniscal, silly, and bizarre, Mamma Mia is starting to become a tour-de-force franchise that dabbles in the madness. There were even moments of emotions that tug at your heart-string.  Director Ol Parker has done a fantastic job at taking everything we loved from the first film, making us overdose on it, and sending us off on our merry way. It’s a captivating and altogether amazing production of sheer perfection.

No. Wait.

Cher perfection.

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Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is on DVD & Blu-Ray now!