“Paddington 2” proves to be as sweet as marmalade
By Oscar Chavez Castaneda
From the depths of Darkest Peru, Paddington bear made his way into our hearts in 2014’s “Paddington”. Now settled into the home of the Browns, we are treated to another adventure with the chivalrous bear in the delightful sequel, “Paddington 2”. Over the course of 103 minutes we are taught the importance of manners, the power of a marmalade sandwich, and the astounding range of Hugh Grant.
Paddington is greatly enjoying his life in London but is worried about what to get his Aunt Lucy for her 100th birthday. Her lifelong dream had been to visit London but when her and her husband, Pastuzo, happen upon young Paddington as an orphaned cub, her life was changed for the better. Now, Paddington wants to find Aunt Lucy the perfect gift as a thank you for all she has done for him.
Such a simple plot yields astonishing results. We see the impact such a small bear can have in such a large city. This isn’t due to the fact that he is a walking, talking bear. It’s due to what his aunt has taught him as he grew up; always look for the good in people. A small idea that yields massive results.
From the moment he leaves the house, we see the positive effect Paddington and his ethos have on the people who surround him. He is quick to offer a marmalade sandwich for breakfast to his bike-riding friend. While hitching a ride on a garbage truck, Paddington helps the worker practice for his cabbie exam. Before leaving the neighborhood, Paddington reminds the neighborhood doctor to grab his keys before the door locks behind him. With these kind gestures, Paddington remembers his manners and in doing so, elevates the lives of all those he meets.
Even when he finds himself in an unsavory position (he winds up wrongly imprisoned!), Paddington keeps his aunt’s wisdom at heart. While locked up with the most hardened of criminals, Paddington manages to befriend the gruffest of the inmates and make good use of his incarceration. Obviously this is facilitated through the marvel of homemade marmalade. Meanwhile, the real person behind the crime Paddington has been framed for is wreaking havoc throughout London.
Hugh Grant turns in an amazing performance as the film’s villain, Phoenix Buchanan. The dastardly Buchanan has stolen the gift Paddington was saving up for (an antique pop-up book) and has gotten away scot-free, with Paddington becoming his patsy. The Browns are busy unraveling his plans and trying their best to free their bear. Throughout all this, Paddington holds out hope that his family will free him and he will get back the perfect gift for his Aunt Lucy.
Plenty of laughs abound in this film and the actors are a joy to watch. With the world being a bit dreary as of late, “Paddington 2” is a heartwarming tale that will bring a smile to your face and remind you of the importance of keeping a marmalade sandwich under your hat in case of emergencies.
Be sure to have some tissues at hand, too. You’ll need them.
“Paddington 2” is now available digitally and will be released on DVD and Blu-ray April 24. It is rated PG.
4 out of 4 stars