Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.
Spoiler alert for anyone out there who wants to go into the film knowing nothing. I can't review the film without revealing a big plot point so don't say I didn't warn you.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is set 10 years after the first film. Our main character Sophie is fixing up the island and the hotel for a Grand Re-Opening in her mom's honor. Donna, Sophie's mom, had died and Sophie decided that she wanted to stay on the island just like her mom. Sophie's husband Sky has been in New York studying hotel management and fell in love with the city, not wanting to come back. As Sophie deals with Sky and trying to get the hotel ready in time, she recounts the stories that her mom had told her, the stories of how Donna met Sam, Bill, and Harry and how she came to the island.
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First off, let me say that Lily James was the perfect choice for young Donna. She brought that vivacious "wild at heart" and loving tenderness to the role just like Meryl Streep did in the previous film. I already knew that Lily had good vocals after hearing her sing in Baby Driver, but now I'm convinced that she could headline her own musical. She has a ton of spirit, heart, and tenacity and that's a combination not many younger actors have.
Next, let me make a few comments on the casting choices. Jessica Keenan Wynn and Alexa Davies were spectacular as young Tanya and Rosie, both perfectly matching up to the hilarity and harmony of Christine Baranski and Julie Walters. I didn't however care much for the choices for young Sam, Bill, and Harry. Their voices were decent but their performances didn't sync very well with their older counterparts.
I did enjoy this film's story compared to the first. While the first was lighthearted, fun, and fluffy with a little bit of emotion, this one brought more depth and emotional gut-punches. The ending had the biggest weep-your-eyes-out moment. I know if it got to me then it'll certainly impact the close moms and daughters out there.
In conclusion, as much as I loved the first one I'd have to rank this even higher. The humor and heart were both still there and it built on what was established way back in the Broadway show. That's one thing I love about these movies. They're their own stories all the while being respectful to the Broadway show. I give Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again a 4 out of 4.
© 2018 Nathan Jasper