You either loved or really did not like the original Mamma Mia! (2008) depending on your love for musicals, ABBA songs or the general pure cheese that dominated the summer 2008 box office. The impact and success of the film could not be doubted however, which makes the sequel ten years later even more incredible.
In the present day Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is getting the hotel ready for a grand opening, while dealing with the fact that Sky (Dominic Cooper) is working in New York and may not be coming back. Meanwhile, back in 1979 Donna (an excellent Lily James) is graduating university and decides to travel through Europe rather than settle down into an ordinary life. On her travels she meets the three men that will become the fathers of her children Harry (Hugh Skinner/Colin Firth), Sam (Jeremy Irvine/Pierce Brosnan) and Bill (Josh Dylan/Stellan Skarsgard).
The film acts as both a prequel and a sequel, weaving easily between the two timelines and Donna’s relationships with all three men and her growing determination to make it on her own. Her two best friends Rosie (Alexa Davis/Julie Walters) and Tanya (Jessica Keenan Wyn/Christine Baranski) provide a large amount of the comic relief back in 1979, and in the present day, and the younger actresses really capture the mannerisms and nuances of the older characters, so much that you could easily believe that it is Walters and Baranski a few decades ago.
A special mention has to go to Lily James who dances through the role of Young Donna with all the ease and delight and genuine heart-break that the young woman faces throughout her time on the island.
The film feels even more out-and-out musical that the first, with huge dance numbers and choreography that makes your eyes whirl, but in the best possible way. All actors give it their all throughout every scene and really seem to be enjoying every second of their time on set.
Cher is a delight as Ruby, Donna’s mother who appears without warning to the grand opening, basically playing herself but brilliantly. Omid Djalili, the permanently unimpressed customs officer is also great and deserves a mention.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is one of those films that will have you crying with laughter and then just crying moments later. All the cast are having the time of their lives. Yes it’s cheesy, but it’s selling out packed cinemas to crowds who are loving it, and who doesn’t love a bit of pure entertainment? Sometimes, it’s exactly what we all need. And isn’t that what cinema should be?