Lead. The sequel to the 2008 smash hit has been widely anticipated, not just by ABBA lovers. News of Cher joining the cast only increased the expectations of fans and sceptics alike- but would this new addition ruin or revive the franchise?
Mumma Mia! Here we go Again was released on the 20thJuly. Amanda Seyfried effortlessly reprised her role as Sophie Sheridan, however, the film itself had a far more sombre undertone than the original. Flashing back and forth between the young life of Donna Sheridan and the present day of her daughter, Sophie, the film exemplifies the parallels between the mother-daughter duo as strong-willed, determined heroines. Meryl Streep took a backseat this time around, her character’s death looms over the movie presenting heart-warming and tear-jerking moments as we learn how inspiringly independent Donna was. Lilly James also shines throughout the movie, her electric portrayal of the young Donna makes us at once want to move to Greece to run a hotel, and also able to understand why three devoted men followed her around the globe. Although, it can be argued that the film would have benefitted from an earlier introduction to these men, namely Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgård, whose comedic friendship lifted the sadder scenes in the film’s second half.
It could also be argued that a movie franchise lives and dies with the sequel. That sounds like a bold statement, but the truth is, if the second film is not very good- who will pay to see the third? It is difficult to make the follow up to a beloved film as entertaining as the first, and undoubtedly some films like: A Good Day to Die Hard or The Next Karate Kid fall short, and are unnecessary editions to the franchise. On the other hand, the Godfather Part II and Shrek 2 resurge the buzz around the first movie, reminding us why we were first gripped or amused by the unique characters on display, it could even be argued that this type of sequel is, dare I say ~better~ than the original.
So, where does Mumma Mia! Here we go Again fall?
While the first 20 minutes or so of the film felt a little slow paced, they were necessary to set up the solid, tear-jerking plot. At one point I was crying to the image of Sophie’s Dads on a boat re-enacting the iconic Titanic pose (I can feel myself getting all emotional now even as I write this!). Despite the slow start, with stars like Julia Walters and Christine Baranski, the pace soon picked up and the film was a nostalgic, accomplished comedy that concluded with Cher fittingly singing ‘Fernando.’
This sequel may not be to everyone’s taste, especially if you’re not a fan of musicals, but it certainly resurged the energy back into the franchise; there’s even been a buzz about an ABBA reunion tour since the promotion and launch of the film– will it go ahead? Only time can tell… But while tour rumours are yet to be confirmed, you can still catch Mumma Mia, Here we go Again! for the next week in local cinemas. Book a ticket now and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.