"Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" Movie Review

Updated on January 3, 2020
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again | Source

To be honest, I’d all but forgotten 2008’s Mamma Mia! by the time I heard the sequel was fizz-popping its way into theaters. The original saccharin-laced, musical bit of giddiness was pleasant enough. Plus, given that it’s been a decade since we heard Pierce Brosnan mistakenly attempt to croak his way through ABBA’s “SOS”, perhaps he’s had enough time to learn to carry a tune.

Not so much, but that’s just about the only thing that hasn’t improved for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Yes, Meryl Streep is absent (we’re told early on that her character, Donna, passed away a year ago), and, sure, the writers had to dig a little deeper into the ABBA songbook to avoid too much repetition, but the rest of the gang is back (along with some nice surprises along the way), and the whole shebang is guided by powerhouse Lily James, who is slowly proving herself a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood.

The film is presented in parallel storylines. In present day, we follow Donna’s daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) as she preps for the grand re-opening of her hotel in the Greek countryside. And then there’s also flashbacks to 1979, which provide us the backstory that simmered under the first film; James plays the 21-year-old version of Donna as she graduates college and then sleeps with three young men in the space of a few weeks—one of whom fathered Sophie.

And, of course, it’s all set to the infectious, uber-pop stylings of ABBA.

It’s easy to see that writer and director Ol Parker, who wrote the two Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movies, had a blast putting Here We Go Again together. Along with some snazzy little camera moves, he gives just enough time to the musical numbers to cut down on the cheesiness that ran rampant the first time around. Everything seems just a little tighter and a little more polished, and the script is funnier, too. Along with a couple fun cameos, there’s a handful of meta-humor to help keep things from getting too stale.

Having the gang back together—minus Streep―is fine (Christine Baranski and Julie Walters again steal the show as Tanya and Rosie, Donna’s best friends), but the movie gets a welcome injection of life from the new cast, particularly James, who absolutely kills it in every scene she’s in. Adding to the fun is Jessica Keenan Wynn and Alexa Davies, who play the younger versions of Tanya and Rosie, and Andy Garcia and Cher as the manager of Sophie’s hotel and her grandmother respectively.

People are already griping about the lack of continuity (or plot holes, if you prefer) between the two movies—the version of the events the Donna recounts in the first film varies quite a bit from what plays out in the sequel—but in the end, does it really matter? Of course not. We’re here for the goofy dance numbers, the sing-along pop, and the ability to just sit back and enjoy a sappy, sugary-sweet story. And, with apologies to ABBA, in Here We Go Again that’s the name of the game.


3.5/5 stars

'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' trailer


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)