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Blu-ray Review: Paddington 2

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Paddington and his family, the Browns, are back and, this time, all Paddington can think about is his aunt’s birthday. When he finds the perfect present for her – a pop-up book all about London landmarks – he decides to get a job in order to pay for it.

However, Paddington being Paddington, things do not go quite to plan.

He is caught up in the theft of the book and held responsible. When he ends up going to jail for the crime, he worries that the Brown family will forget all about him. But Paddington follows his aunt’s sage advice and, even when it seems difficult, he tries his best to see the good in people. His efforts bring him new friends who might just help him clear his name. And with plenty of marmalade to go around, all is not yet lost.

Much like with the first outing, Paddington 2 brings with it a great blend of charm, silliness and adventure. Like the perfect marmalade recipe, it manages to be sweet without being too sickly, fun without being too ridiculous, perilous without being too scary. The tone is the Goldilocks of films: just right.

And what a relief! There was a lot to live up to after the success of the first film but the sequel more than lives up to the bar set by its predecessor.

Though Paddington is very much about adventure and fun, at its core lies something more pure and full of heart: the goodness in people and the greatness that can be achieved when we are good to each other. It might sound corny but it’s such a simple concept executed with such class and optimism that you can’t help but be swept away by it all. The Brown family took Paddington in but he saved them as much as they saved him and they all came out the better for it. And in this sequel that magic touch spreads to more friends and neighbours who are all made better by simply knowing Paddington.

The insanely impressive cast list includes an array of phenomenal British talent. Ben Whishaw returns as Paddington, along with Julie Walters, Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, Jim Broadbent and many other familiar faces. There are also new additions including Brendan Gleeson, Jessica Hynes, Tom Conti, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Ben Miller. However, it is Hugh Grant who steals the show with his hilarious turn as the washed-up-actor-turned-thief, Phoenix Buchanan.

Fun for all ages, Paddington 2 is an absolute treat from start to finish: so full of charm and delight and genuine love and affection that, unlike Paddington, you won’t have to look too hard to find the good in this gem.

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