FILM REVIEW | Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

It’s been 10 years since Mamma Mia! shimmied its way onto screens and made a star out of Amanda Seyfried.

A whole decade since audiences the world over were put through the agony of Pierce Brosnan trying to sing.

Both stars are back for the best-named sequel around – Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

The film is set in two timelines – the present, where Seyfried’s Sophie is about to open a fully refurbished hotel in Greece, fulfilling her late mother Donna’s greatest wish, and 1979, where recent college graduate Donna is visiting Greece for the first time.

Lily James (Baby Driver) plays the young Donna – no mean feat considering the older version is portrayed by living legend Meryl Streep.

James, though, is a powerhouse and absolutely steals the entire movie. She is a far better singer than Streep and is so incredibly enthusiastic and joyful in her performance that it’s impossible to view with cynicism.

The 1979 story is far more powerful and enjoyable than that in the present, and it is in large part due to James’ work.

Super troupers: Lily James (centre) is a powerhouse alongside Jessica Keenan Wynn and Alexa Davies in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, rated PG, in cinemas now.

Super troupers: Lily James (centre) is a powerhouse alongside Jessica Keenan Wynn and Alexa Davies in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, rated PG, in cinemas now.

In her journey to Greece, Donna meets three suitors, quickly falling for each.

They are, of course, the younger versions of the characters played by Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard in the first film. Each have their charms and it’s easy to see why Donna is taken with them.

Back in the present, Sophie is struggling with the grand opening as all manner of things go wrong – only one of her three potential dads can make the opening, her husband is busy in New York and a massive storm is rolling in.

As much of ABBA’s impressive catalogue was used in the first film, Here We Go Again throws in some lesser-known tunes which are a bit harder to sing along to.

But the standout early on is Knowing Me, Knowing You. That is eclipsed later when Cher – playing Seyfried’s grandmother – arrives and belts out Fernando with Andy Garcia. It’s an unexpected but brilliant rendition of the song. The most fun, however, comes from the glorious closing number.

Even if you don’t like musicals, there’s something infectious about ABBA’s music that makes these films a fun ride. Stick around for a fun post-credits scene.

Rating: 6.5/10.

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