“Did we really need to go again?”
This film, the sequel or prequel or pre-sequel, perhaps? To the musical film 'Mamma Mia' originally released in 2008, exposes more information on the backstory and character of Meryl Streep's Donna Sheridan who in this film is now played by Lily James(of 'Baby Driver' fame). Set largely in 1978 this film shows audiences how Donna romanced three different men and eventually gave birth to her daughter Sophie- the central protagonist of the original film. 'Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again' is definitely a kid-friendly movie although it does contain a few mature themes that may leave the younger ones asking questions their parents would probably prefer answering once their kids were a bit older given that there are few euphemisms for more mature themes. Though it does contain positive messages about remembrance, familial bonds and friendship for children to take-away from their experiences watching this film. I would recommend this to be acceptable for kids aged ten and above. But regardless of age, this movie is sure to have you leave the theatre singing along to ABBA or with a newfound hatred of it, depending on your view of early 80s Euro Pop.
The plot presents itself in a manner that makes proves the characters to be likeable especially those playing the younger versions of the cast in flashback sequences. The overall story of the film, while retreading similar themes to the original film does not feel overly familiar to the point where the film would be unoriginal and uninteresting to the audience. Just as well, the musical numbers; wonderfully performed by the cast of the film help maintain the momentum and movement of the story to ensure that the audience is not bored by basic back and forth dialogue. Now the frequency of those musical numbers is something that is open for criticism. The overall criticism of the plot is that it ultimately feels very lazily put together, evidence of this is especially visible through the late game inclusion of Ruby Sheridan(played by Cher- yes that Cher). As well as the seemingly unexplained story of Sophie's husband Skye who makes compelling characters decision off-screen that could have provided more depth and understanding to his already lacklustre character.
The cast of the film without a doubt bring lots of energy and excitement to their roles in the film, which aids them in making every choreographed dance number or musical number, just that much more interesting and exciting to watch. Now one point which most definitely has to be discussed is that of Meryl Streep. While Lily James does a wonderful job of portraying the younger version of Streep’s characters by radiating confidence and positivity, Streep's absence can be felt in the film. The three-dimensional Academy Award winner subsequently does not have the ability or chance to bring the same energy that made the original film enjoyable.
That being said, 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ is a fun, energetic film with a likeable cast but ultimately feels pointless, with the whole premise of this film basically being explained in the original.