Movie Review: Paddington 2 (King, 2017)

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Movie: Paddington 2 

Production Companies: Heyday Films, StudioCanal

Director: Paul King 

Producer: David Heyman

Scriptwriters: Paul King, Simon Farnaby

Main Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Ben Whishaw

Release Date: November 10th 2017 (UK)

Running Time: 104 minutes 

Certificate: PG


So this week I remembered that Paddington 3 has been greenlit for over a year. And it’s gonna be called Paddington in Peru….. But anyway, while we won’t have any new Paddington films for a few years, why not look back at the film which was once declared the greatest film on Rotten Tomatoes: Paddington 2? Paddington 2 was widely praised for its humour, comedic performances from Hugh Bonneville and Hugh Grant amongst others and for just being really funny. Man, these films are just so heartwarming…. So without further ado let’s get into the review of the film.


Paddington 2 picks up shortly after the first Paddington film and sees Paddington fully integrated into life with the Browns in Windsor Gardens. The main plot of the film sees Paddington (Whishaw) determined to get Aunt Lucy a birthday present to repay her for all her love and effort she put into raising Paddington in Darkest Peru. So when he comes across a pop up book of various London Landmarks in Mr Gruber’s (Broadbent) antique shop. However, tragedy strikes when a mysterious thief steals the book and frames Paddington for it. This leaves Paddington’s future behind bars and relying on the Browns to clear his name by catching the real thief. Other plot points include the arrival of Mr Brown’s (Bonneville) midlife crisis, the definitely not surprise villain Phoenix Buchanan (Grant), Judy becoming a reporter and Jonath… sorry J-Dog definitely not loving steam trains.


The Heart-warming Nature of Paddington 2

To begin my analysis of Paddington 2, I’m going to discuss how the script is just as heartwarming as anything. Now in today’s age of cynical antiheroes and quippy main characters often seen in Marvel films it is rare that we see genuinely heartwarming characters. But that’s just what makes Paddington so good. His heartwarming ability to see the best in the other residents of Windsor Gardens makes the audience love him even more. And there is no better example than Paddington’s transformation of the prison. How is the case? Well, for a start the colour palette. When Paddington first steps into the prison the prison is cast in a bluish hue and palette. Obviously this is connoting sadness and Paddington’s misery about being in prison.

However soon we enter into a prison montage where the colour palette shifts from blue to bright yellow. This is clearly showing how the prison has become a better and brighter place because of Paddington’s personality. Another example of Paddington’s heartwarming nature is through his interactions with the prison chef Knuckles, sorry Nuckels (Gleeson). This is seen through the clash of Nuckels pessimism and self doubt when compared to Paddington’s optimism. Oh and also the fact we see Paddington get angry at Nuckels not helping to make marmalade is just funny.

Hugh Grant’s Performance in Paddington 2 

Continuing my analysis of Paddington 2, I’m going to talk about Hugh Grant’s performance as the definitely not surprise villain Phoenix Buchanan. So given its Hugh Grant you expect a certain level of excellence. And Grant definitely delivers with his performance. So what are some examples of Hugh Grant being great in Paddington? Well the entire premise for Phoenix Buchanan’s character. Besides the slightly contrived magician connection, the basis for the character is very interesting.

An actor fallen from grace and reduced to dog food commercials who resorts to using various disguises to steal a pop up book and find a hidden fortune in the circus is a great way of twisting sympathy from the audience. We should feel sorry for Phoenix as he’s fallen on hard times. However, the fact he’s stealing what is supposed to be Aunt Lucy’s birthday present makes him, in the words of the judge, a heinous criminal. Oh also you might not think you need to see Hugh Grant dressed as a nun running away from Ghosts star, Simon Farnaby, but you really do. Mainly because of Farnaby’s comedic chops in two cameo like roles across the Paddington films. Anyway, I got sidetracked but yeah Hugh Grant is really good especially the prison musical scene at the end.

Tone in Paddington 2 

To conclude my analysis of Paddington 2, I’m going to discuss the tone of the film. Now as I’ve mentioned above, the film is very heartwarming. This creates a really upbeat and happy tone that carries throughout most of the film. Oh, also at points Paddington 2 really feels like the most Wes Anderson film that he didn’t direct but that’s a story for another day. So back on topic, where are some examples of this upbeat and happy tone within Paddington 2? Well, take the ending as an example. Paddington has just woken up from a fever and realises it is Aunt Lucy’s birthday.

While initially the audience might be disappointed and sad for Paddington, King then shows us an incredibly happy end. Long story short, the residents of Windsor Gardens have flown Aunt Lucy over to see Paddington. The way this is shot is very well done through the use of a POV shot of Paddington walking to the door. This just creates a warm feeling of happiness within the audience. Man the film is so heartwarming….


To conclude my Paddington 2 review, this is a very fun, heartwarming and feel good film which didn’t need to be the best rated film on Rotten Tomatoes. But if you ever feel a bit down, stick this film on Netflix and you’ll feel better in no time.

Overall Rating: 8/10 – Very Good

Target Audience: 10+

Content Warning: Mild Frightening and Intense Scenes Recommendation: Yes