January movies always seem to stink. That’s mainly the reason there are hardly any reviews of any newly released movies, but every January there’s always one hidden gem. Like the first Paddingtoni. I thought the first Paddington was pretty good, not quite amazing, like all the other critics were saying, but still enjoyable for the most part. So when I heard they were making a sequel, I was not very excited, but I did something I hardly ever do with movies: I watched no trailers for it. So I knew nothing about this movie going in. And I’m happy to say that Paddington 2 is great.
Before I get into the positives I want to talk about one thing that did bug me a bit throughout the movie. It’s that nobody really questions the fact that there’s a little bear just walking around the street. They all just think it’s normal to see a talking bear walking around. Now I get that Paddington has been living in the same place for a while and a lot of people know him, but there’s a police chase later in the movie, and the cops don’t even question that there’s a bear running around. But a great thing about Paddington’s social interaction with others is that he doesn’t quite understand how the world works like all the other people do, but no one looks down on him because of that, so when you’re watching the movie you’re not thinking, “Wow, what a stupid bear!” This is a great message for younger kids who watch this movie because most people have probably seen a kid who has said something that may have been more serious than he or she actually intended it to be, and then everyone starts laughing at them and then the kid feels bad. This film has a character who is so naive and so likable, and so kind-hearted that it doesn’t look down at those traits, it encourages them. Yes, there are scenes where Paddington has to come to terms with what the world can really be like, and those are used to build his character and teach him things, not to beat him down.
Brendan Gleeson plays a chef, although I’m not going to say where he works because it reveals a major part of the plot, but he is so funny as this chef and his relationship with Paddington is so amazing that it makes for one of the best parts of the entire film. Paddington 2 surprised me; I definitely recommend it, as kids will love it and parents will love it. It has an incredible message for kids, and it has a lot of slapstick that is not cringe-worthy at all. It hasn’t been doing great, so if you can find in a theatre near you, I highly recommend that you see it.