There are not many sequels that you can safely say are better than the original, however in the case of Paddington 2 no one’s going to argue with you as it’s a delight from start to finish and easily betters its 2014 predecessor in every way.

Paddington the duffle coated bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) is still staying with stuffy insurance assessor Henry Brown (Hugh Bonneville) and his wife Mary (Sally Hawkins) at 32 Windsor Gardens, London and on a visit to the antique shop run by Mr Gruber (Jim Broadbent), Paddington finds an old popup book of London that he would like to send to his Aunt Lucy in Peru.

Finding that the book is too expensive Paddington vows to return when he’s saved up enough money to buy the book. This leads our furry friend to take up various jobs, all with hilariously consequences.

Before Paddington can collect enough money the book is stolen by washed out actor Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant). Through a case of mistaken identity Paddington is wrongly accused of the theft and he’s imprisoned for 10 years in a high security jail.

Behind bars Paddington is surrounded by hardened criminals and there’s non-more hardened than the canteen cook, Knuckles McGinty (Brendan Gleeson) who serves nothing but gritty porridge to the prisoners.

Needleless to say Knuckles is eventually won over by the bear’s charms which leads to the pair working together in the prison canteen making various confectionary delights for the rest of the prisoners’.

Meanwhile on the outside the Browns are fighting to identify the real culprit in order to free Paddington from his “confectionery hell”.

Paddington 2 as well as having a fantastic story has some wonderful comic set pieces, Paddington’s attempts at being a barber and a window cleaner lead to hilarious consequences for his customers.

Every one of the cast are wonderful however Gleeson and Grant just about steal every scene that they are in. Grant in particular is a standout and is not afraid to poke fun at himself, a photograph on his table shows him as a floppy haired youth in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Paddington 2 is a charming colourful film that could just be about the best family film of 2017.

Highly recommended.

Paddington 2 (PG)


Director: Paul King
Starring: Sally Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson, Ben Wishaw

UK Release: Friday 10th November 2017

Paddington 2 - "Visiting Room" Clip

Paddington 2 - Pop Up Featurette