Film review: Paddington 2 - as charming and hilarious as the first

Have you seen Paddington 2? Picture: PA/ STUDIO CANAL

Have you seen Paddington 2? Picture: PA/ STUDIO CANAL - Credit: PA

So successful was Paul King’s heart-warming box office hit Paddington that a sequel was a welcome inevitability. With Paddington 2, King has delivered a continuation as charming and hilarious as the first.

The film follows Paddington (Ben Whishaw) as he tries to earn enough money to buy a pop-up book for his aunt Lucy’s (Imelda Staunton) 100th birthday, only to run foul of fiendish actor Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant) who has his own nefarious designs on the book.

As with the first, much of the humour comes from the increasingly comical situations in which our ursine hero finds himself.

Whether Paddington is messing up the haircut of a supercilious judge (Tom Conti) or teaching prison chef Knuckles McGinty (Brendan Gleeson) how to make marmalade, King and co-writer Simon Farnaby prove themselves to be masters of visual comic timing.

While these sequences are delightful there is an inescapable feeling that the whole thing is a little too familiar, as if King and Farnaby are repeating many of the first instalment’s comedic beats.

Nevertheless, Paddington 2 is still tremendously enjoyable and there is much fun to be found in the superb performances.

Grant is particularly impressive as the preening, self-obsessed antagonist and Gleeson provides many of the film’s laughs as the gruff but soft-hearted Knuckles.

Most Read

Whishaw, however, is the real stand out. The actor’s dulcet tones perfectly capture the central character’s charm, kindness and unwavering optimism.

Paddington 2 is a splendid, riotous sequel and the feel-good film of the year.