Published On: Fri, Jul 20th, 2018

‘Mamma Mia Here We Go Again’ fails to bring back that the fun, happy sensation of the original

How is a fan of musicals not giving Mamma Mia! 2 a higher rating than 3 out of 5 stars?  A fan of Abba? The girl who has spent the last 2 days singing the songs from the original film?!?!  

Well, because I’ve only been singing the songs from the original film, not the new music introduced in this “maybe-they-shouldn’t-have-done-it” sequel.  

Oh my! I actually said it!

This is a sequel they probably should have left in the realm of dreams and fantasy instead of creating a movie that’s only appeal is focused on the elements that are duplicated from the original.

The story begins about a year after our original protagonist, Donna (Meryl Streep) has died.  So, we start out with a downer. Don’t expect any happy, catchy tunes for the entire first half of the film.  Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) has remodeled the hotel as a luxury vacation spot and is launching a grand opening extravaganza with celebrities from all around the world.  But through a series of unexpected weather mishaps and her marriage hitting the rocks, all the plans fall to pieces.

Only 1 of her 3 dads is there, Sam (Pierce Brosnan), since Harry (Colin Firth) and Bill (Stellan Skarsgard) have previous engagements.  As if that weren’t depressing enough, Sophie feels that she’s failing to honor her mother’s memory and the element of Donna’s mom being a disappointment (Cher) is another dark cloudy looming overhead.

As we move into the second half of the movie, Harry and Bill save the day and many of the popular songs from the original production come in to make you tap your feet, wave your arms, and sing along.  Thank goodness!!!

But what about Cher?  

Isn’t she supposed to be a big, fabulous part of the movie?  

Egh. She shows up to make amends with her granddaughter and plays a very self-centered and physically stiff individual.  (Drag queens everywhere are given nothing worth imitating from this performance without any of her characteristic gestures or mannerisms present at all.)  No fabulous Cher dance numbers, but she still has her unique and fascinating voice.

The film promises to tell the story of Donna’s wild summer where she met the 3 men in her life, but there’s no magic in any of those scenes.  That story line came across as very rushed and forced. The sparkle between Streep and Brosnan is missing as the younger actors can’t express it similarly.  While each actor does a good job individually (Lily James was enchanting as young Donna), there just isn’t any chemistry between her and any of the gentlemen.  Those scenes felt as forced as the introduction of Andy Garcia as the new hotel manager, Fernando. Just another big name to add to the credits.

The most entertaining aspect of the entire movie (aside from the older music coming back) were Donna’s friends, Tanya (Christine Baranski) and Rosie (Julie Walters).  They were just as amusing as in the original and even the younger actors portraying them in the past (Jessica Keenan Wynn and Alexa Davies) did a great job in these roles.

But, if you go see it, stay until after the ending that is like a fun music video and the credits for a cute little surprise scene that will make you giggle.  That said, you could wait for this to come out on video and just watch the original over and over again for that fun, happy sensation we were all hoping would be on the big screen again…but just wasn’t.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again earns 3 stars out of 5 stars

Author: Debbie Sage

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