About halfway through Mamma Mia! Here We Croak Again , the opening rails to “Dancing Queen” started playing and I started crying.
If there’s one stroke of particular genius in the brand-new movie musical sequel, it’s the way in which it juxtaposes the earworm dad superficiality of ABBA with extreme, deeply felt emotion.
This is a Mamma Mia ! movie, which is to say: Extremely! Silly! Yet it is a movie that would address life, demise, dreams, wedlock, relationship, and family with an explosive strength that can only be matched by the batch of Cher in a platinum blonde wig and culottes region out “Fernando” with Andy Garcia while a seizure-inducing fireworks appearance lights up the Greek sky behind them.
Released 10 years after Meryl Streep in a disco jumpsuit singing “Super Trouper” took in a surprise $600 million at the box office and grew the movie most forever on gyration in my living room, Mamma Mia! Here We Move Again takes what represented that movie an instant camp classic and turns up the loudnes, without losing the( polyester) cloth of the original.
Those Greek skies and water? Bluer than before. The ABBA psalms? More random. The ridiculousness? More unabashed. The acts? Did you not read the persona about Cher singing “Fernando?” And the emotional posts, well, they’re grew to a level at which MERYL STREEP IS DEAD! My god.
Part prequel, flashing back to vistums in which Streep’s character, Donna, is a twenty-something free spirit, and part sequel, it is a movie about affectionate bails, the various the relations that make up their own families, and, in some respects, hotel handling.
It is another movie in which Meryl Streep is dead and everyone can’t stop crying at the merely mention of her, to the stage where the only thing that can clap them up is Cher arriving and singing a ballad. This is an alternate reality that is extremely relatable.
It’s a cinematic afghan covering, with its goofiness, psychological earnestness, Greek scenery porn, deranged choreography, and erstwhile elation crocheted into a familiar aesthetic any follower of the original film is instantly grateful to swaddle themselves in, especially in these times.
Mamma Mia! Here We Disappear Again will move you: move “youve got to” grumble, move “youve got to” snaps( at least three times, per my count ), move “youve got to” spontaneously acclaims at a Christine Baranski course speak, and move you to butt-dance in your sets. And, for the ardour of Pierce Brosnan attempting to sing again, move you to smile.
When a sequel is carry out of a movie( and Broadway musical before it) so batshit–Meryl Streep leads a hotel on a remote Greek island, her daughter is getting married, and she invites three men who might be her pa to the wedding–there are obvious burning questions when, a decade afterwards, the innovative team decides to pick up the story.
Is Meryl Streep’s character really dead? Yes, WTF !!!??? To be honest, you miss her presence terribly. Lily James, who plays Donna in flashbacks, is attractiveness, and Amanda Seyfried, as Sophie in the present-day scenes, is a sparkplug. But they’re not Meryl Streep in overalls singing about how she’s been cheated by you and she thinks you know when! It’s all fairly jarring and rather sadistic, actually. Here is the Mamma Mia ! sequel you two are craving, but we killed Meryl!
Are there even any ABBA chants left to sing? Well, they’re certainly raking the bottom of the barrel, unless you happen to be a big fan of” When I Caressed the Teacher” and” Andante, Andante .” Thankfully, the movie likewise peculiarity “Waterloo” and the aforementioned “Fernando,” both of which were missing from the first movie, and then merely starts reprising all the greatest reaches: “Mamma Mia,” ” Dancing Queen ,” and “Super Trouper.”
Does Cher make up for no Meryl? It is hopeless to oversell Cher in this movie, though she is only in it near the end. It’s not just ” Fernando ,” either. Her line-readings are a goddamn enthrall. Did you honestly think they wouldn’t be? It’s Cher! Snap out of it!
Finally, is the movie appalling? That seemed to be the instinctual fear. The hilariously campy Here We Exit Again entitle. A movie musical sequel–remember Grease 2 , anyone? Could it possibly be good? Listen, kinfolks. If you’re buying a ticket to this movie, you’re buying a ticket to read Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard ham it up while dancing to ABBA chants. You get what you pay for, and then some.
The first half movie is admittedly a bit of a plod.( Frankly: boring .) But there’s a beat–literally a hit; it happens when Lily James starts singing “Mamma Mia” — when everything is about to change and your middle literally surges from that moment on until it just about abounds during the full-costume, full-cast( Meryl included !) curtain call.
What’s unique about Mamma Mia! is that usually we’d write a joke about how in research projects like this, the story is secondary. But the Mamma Mia ! scheme is laughably complicated, with its three papas madnes, and Here We Lead Again dutifully follows suit.
In memory of her dead mother–still can’t get over that–Seyfried’s Sophie is fulfilling Donna’s daydreams to prepare the inn a classy vacation destination. It’s the eve of the hotel’s opening, and the whole gang’s getting back together to celebrate. Understandably, Sophie is incessantly “ve been thinking about” her father, who was about her age when she moved to the island, and that’s when the film twinkles back to Lily James as Young Donna.
These cycles essentially dramatize the” dot, dot, scatter …” stories from the original’s” Honey, Honey” amount, in which Sophie speaks Donna’s diary and learns how she congregated Sam( Brosnan ), Harry( Firth ), and Bill( Skarsgard ). But, while all the musicians playing the young versions of these reputations are certainly requesting, and it’s here that we finally get a “Waterloo” amount, the more these flashbacks wear on, the more superfluous they become.
We already had a whole movie that fixed Donna and Sophie’s intense mother-daughter alliance and her complicated biography with the three pas. We don’t need these flashbacks to reiterate it. Stretching that one psalm out into half a movie doesn’t intensify the spectacular strain. We already know how it resolves. More, it takes us away from the most dramatic tension of all: A world in which Meryl Streep is dead!
The pleasure of the movie is in revisiting the characters from the original, and it’s harassing to not invest the entire day with them. Sophie, slight as these movies may be, is the best capacity Amanda Seyfried has had. The reference description for Sophie might as well be” the human rights form of Amanda Seyfried’s big eyes ,” for all the meditate, spunk, and brittle spirit the role requires.
Christine Baranski and her Big Dick Energy is back filming off innuendo-laden one-liners like poison missiles, and Julie Walters may be singularly held liable for resurrecting the sequel’s beating centre every time the action returns to present epoch.( Christine and Julie: Appoint a more iconic duo. We’ll wait .)
And Brosnan, Firth, and Skarsgard are skilled enough actors to run amok with the movie’s cheesy-as-hell character, the types of movie in which person or persons spontaneously bursts out in ABBA song and random strangers at a restaurant, hotel, or city square become background dancers.
So much of the choreography is just massive an organization of parties leading, biking, hiking, hop-skip, and dancing en masse from one location to another, frequently hopping into sea at the end. People slow-mo jumping into water is the Mamma Mia! equivalent of a lens flare or a CGI explosion, the money shots that the audience came for. It’s wonderful.
That’s what’s so stunning about the “Dancing Queen” cycle that became me shout. It wasn’t stripped down into some somber acoustic remix. On the contrary, it was an ecclesiastical celebration.
At a peak psychological moment, those familiar synths start deafening, the ABBA ahhhs start cooing, and the camera pans to a fleet of ships carting dozens of suntanned extras( plus Colin Firth) performing tumultuous flecks of choreography. It’s a rousing imagination: these superhuman lighthouses of glee who prosper on the Greek sunlight and Swedish pop music alone for sustenance, shimmying and singing their method to reuniting a family.
The world sucks right now. This image, so altogether stupid, was downright healing. I can’t wait to see it again.