Director: Paul King
Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Ben Whishaw
Release Date: April 24, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 10/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s hundredth birthday, Paddington sees a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. Hilarity and adventure ensue when the book is stolen and Paddington and the Browns must unmask the thief.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
Everyone’s favorite well-mannered bear returns in ‘Paddington 2’ which sees Paddington now comfortably settled in with the Brown Family at Windsor Gardens and feeling himself to be a true part of the family, not to mention always doing his best to try and politely assist those in his local community whenever provided the opportunity. But when Paddington’s quest to find the perfect gift for his beloved Aunt Lucy leads to thievery and his good natured attempt to help inadvertently results in a series of new troubles and a case of mistaken identity, Paddington and the Browns will have to get clever if they hope to unmask the true villain behind the crime and clear the beloved Bear’s name before it’s too late.
Directed once again by Paul King (Paddington, Bunny and the Bull) from a screenplay he again also additionally co-wrote although this time with Simon Farnaby (TV’s Yonderland), King does a magnificent job once again at the helm of ‘Paddington 2’ perfectly recapturing the heart, care and overall beauty of Paddington’s world. The film also owes a fair share of credit to the perfectly selected individuals that comprise the cast of the sequel which features a number of new and returning individuals to the series and includes Hugh Bonneville (TV’s Downton Abbey), Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), Brendan Gleeson (TV’s Mr. Mercedes), Julie Walters (Becoming Jane), Jim Broadbent (Cloud Atlas), Peter Capaldi (TV’s Doctor Who) and Hugh Grant (About A Boy) along with Ben Whishaw (Spectre) once again reprising the voice of Paddington, and nearly all offering fitting and quite capable performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Paddington 2’ is nothing short of marvelous. A truly magnificent second entry in the series and a phenomenal film in its own right, ‘Paddington 2’ is brimming with heart, care and adventure that come together into a follow-up to the nearly perfect first film a few years back that somehow miraculously manages to top it. A perfect example of a family film with something to offer folks of all ages that consistently exudes a clear passion for the beloved character and never loses its footing along the way. Always taking care to remain faithful to the classic character; it does a remarkable job of capturing Paddington’s essence, manner and so many of his other trademark quirks. Any fan of Paddington won’t want to even contemplate missing out on this gem of a film. It’s certainly a rare occasion when words can’t quite manage to fully express my admiration and love of a film, but ‘Paddington 2’ may just be such an occurrence and I honestly can’t recall any other series or film in recent memory that managed to leave me as pleased, moved and just outright thrilled as this magical adventure. I can’t possibly encourage folks strongly enough to make a point of giving this heartwarming and just plain amazing film (as well as its fantastic predecessor for those who haven’t had the pleasure) a watch whenever you can find the opportunity to do so, it’s something truly special and there’s a great chance you’ll be utterly thrilled that you decided to do so.
Overall, ‘Paddington 2’ is truly spectacular, a warmhearted tale for the entire family that captures the magic of its predecessor and even somewhat improves on what was already nearly perfection; all while staying faithful to the beloved character at the center of the fun. It’s easily one of the best films of the year (and almost surely my personal favorite thus far) that is nothing short of movie going magic and a ride well worth taking. ‘Paddington 2’ easily earns my highest possible recommendation for folks of all ages who can let themselves enjoy a fun, funny and kind-hearted adventure with a great deal to offer (although I would recommend watching the first film before doing so if possible, even if it’s probably not entirely necessary). This insanely pleasing and beautifully constructed sequel should have no problem whatsoever proving itself well worth your time and the cost of a rental at the absolute least, and should also make a perfect selection for a family movie night at home.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Paddington 2’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks magnificent as a whole and delivers a sharp, detailed and richly colored presentation from start to finish, with no notable faults to be uncovered throughout. It holds up admirably even during the darkly lit and fast moving sequences, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation from Warner Bros. that should easily please first time viewers and fans of the film alike.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack makes a splendid compliment to the film and provides a crisp, clean and frequently active audio presentation throughout. It regularly takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to send music, action and mischief related effects, along with crowd chatter, nature elements and plenty more throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate, and always making certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a fantastic Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that delivers across the board and contributes its share of additional fun to this truly spectacular film.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Paddington 2’ includes some enjoyable extras for the whole family. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director/Co-writer Paul King’, in addition to some brief Behind the Scenes Featurettes that include some behind the scenes footage, interviews/comments from the cast and crew, plus more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Paddington: The Bear Truth’ (running approximately 5 minutes in length), ‘The Magical Mystery of Paddington’s Pop-Up Book’ (running approximately 3 minutes), ‘The Browns and Paddington: A Special Bond’ (approximately 6 minutes), ‘Knuckles: A Fistful of Marmalade’ (2 minutes) and ‘The (Once) Famous Faces of Phoenix Buchanan’ (4 minutes). Also included is a video on ‘How to Make a Marmalade Sandwich’ (approximately 3 minutes) and a ‘Music Video with Phoenix Buchannan’ (2 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.