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Director: Ol Parker
Cast: Lily James, Amanda Seyfried, Dominic Cooper, Pierce Broshan, Stellan Skarsgard, Christine Baranski, Colin Firth, Cher, Meryl Streep, Julie Walters, Jeremy Irvine, Andy Garcia, Josh Dylan, Hugh Skinner, Celia Imrie, Jessica Keenan Wynn
Rating: (PG) ★★★★
Reviewed by Christine Powley
The first Mamma Mia movie was incredibly hokey, which is what made it so irresistible. But did ABBA really have enough hits to sustain an entire second movie?
Truth be told, not really.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (Rialto and Reading) is made up of second stringers and songs too good not to be nicked from the first film.
It almost does not matter because Lily James, giving it her all as the young Donna, is just so darn delightful.
Whenever we are focused on her Donna, and how she got in the sticky predicament of a baby with three potential fathers, the movie is alive and joyful.
James takes us with her, fleshing out a story we thought we already knew, so what in most films would be a mere irrelevant storyline becomes the undisputed highlight.
Where Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again goes wrong is in adding a false note of tragedy.
Stop reading now if you do not want to know what the big tease of the pre-publicity is about.
Very early on, we learn that Donna has died and everyone who loved her is still in mourning.
This puts an undue emphasis on her daughter, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried); who must take after her fathers (who all tend towards doleful) because she seems to have none of Donna's get up and go.
If you loved the first movie you are not going to quibble too much about this one, which in the end does land on the correct side of nutty, but the original still rules in my heart.