We Can Be Kind (Movie Thoughts: Paddington 2)

p2I liked the first Paddington movie enough that I am very interested in seeing ‘Paddington 2.’  And the Anglophile that I am makes me doubly excited about it. Plus, every critic I know and trust has given this film a rave, so as I sat down waiting for the film to start, I was already salivating.

Well, Paddington 2 was….cute. It was very cute. On a personal level, it was just exactly what I needed, because I have been dealing with some stress lately. It made me smile; maybe not laugh out loud, but at the very least a warm, fuzzy feeling.

I wish I loved it. I wish I connected with it. I wish it made me want to see it again right after, but honestly, I totally forgot about it minutes after it ended. There are a lot of very nice things about it – the picturesque London locale, the warm and soothing and very expressive voice of Ben Whishaw voicing Paddington, and the wonderful cast (Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville) There’s a great performance here by Hugh Grant as a villain, and he seems to be enjoying every minute playing it (though him replacing Armie Hammer for a BAFTA nomination is a bit much, really, but I am just bitter)  I even love its pro-immigration lesson, and I hope kids growing up with these films take it to heart, especially in these Brexit/DACA climate.

I just wish the plots were less predictable, that there was some element of surprise. I wish there was more oomph for me – at times it felt just so formulaic you could immediately see where it is going right from the very beginning.

One observation, though, if I may: I thought it was interesting that there is a Sally Hawkins scene here towards the end that is very similar to a scene she has in ‘The Shape Of Water.’ I am sure it is a great coincidence, but still worth observing.

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