REVIEW: ‘Paddington 2’ offers an all-star cast and heart-warming family fun

Paddington 2

Paddington 2 - Credit: Archant

Heart-warming fun for all the family, Paddington 2 is just as loveable as the first, through everyone’s favourite bear gets himself into some serious trouble this time round.

Paddington 2

Paddington 2 - Credit: Archant

Having happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes, Paddington’s life couldn’t be better.

While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, the cute and cuddly but disaster-prone furry friend spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it.

What ensues is a series of funny failed attempts at earning his own money, including being a barber’s assistant and window cleaner.

But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief.

During a stint in prison Paddington dares to criticise the chef, eventually turning the hard-faced criminals he shares quarters with into marmalade-sandwich-loving softies, and they all come together to show off their baking talents. That’s the effect of Paddington - his endearing naivety and rose-tinted outlook on the world means it’s impossible to not grow fond of him, even if you’re behind bars.

With an all-star cast - Hugh Grant is brilliant as an egotistical, camp megalomaniac actor, Julie Walters (Mrs Bird) wins the day with her one liners, Doctor Who’s Peter Capaldi drums up a snooty community watch busy-body, Sally Hawkins leads the investigation despite husband Henry (Hugh Bonneville) who’s having a sort of mid-life crisis thinking she’s gone insane, and Jim Broadbent’s quirky antique collector is a delight - there’s a never-ending succession of famous faces.

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The only disappointment is that Richard Ayoade and Joanna Lumley appear for no more than three scenes between them - it seems like a waste, considering their two of this country’s most effortlessly funny characters.

That aside, it’s a worthwhile sequel that offers plenty of laughs while pulling on the heartstrings at the time.

Paddington 2 is now showing at The Light Cinema in Wisbech. Visit for screening times and to book tickets.