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Film Review: ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ is a Bubbly Musical

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CHICAGO – I give in. “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” the sequel to the much derided “Mamma Mia,” is a bubbly, frothy here-come-the-good-times musical that fits summer like a glove. The flashback format will also answer all the burning questions that were left unanswered from the first film, and the cast includes Cher!

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

The film is set in the modern day and in a series of flashbacks to Donna’s (the Meryl Streep character) origins on that Greek Island… replete with the stereotypical Greek natives who seem trapped as villagers. It’s a star studded event, with returnees Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Starsgard, along with Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski and Julie Walters, joined by Lily Taylor as the Young Donna. In other words, it’s just like every other musical that has been ever been made! Except, like in the first film, it uses songs from the 1970s pop phenomenon ABBA. Since many of the huge hits were used up in “Mamma Mia,” some of the songs were definitely their “B” material. Yet it all adds up to a pleasant outing at the cinema.

After the death of her mother Donna (Meryl Streep), daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is turning the dream of opening a hotel on Donna’s special Greek Island to reality. As preparations are made for opening night, there are flashbacks to how Young Donna (Lily James) discovered the island, along with her pals Tanya and Rosie (portrayed by Jessica Keenan Wynn/Alexa Davies as younger, Christine Baranski/Julie Walters in present day).

Sophie’s main “Dad,” Sam (Pierce Brosnan) is helping with the hotel launch, but her other fathers – explained in the flashbacks – are Bill (Stellan Skarsgard) and Harry (Colin Firth), but they cannot attend the opening. When a fierce storm reeks destruction on the eve of the launch, all seems lost. But with a little song, a little dance and an appearance by Grandma Ruby (Cher!), the good ship Mamma Mia will prevail.

“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” opens everywhere on July 20th. Featuring Lily James, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgard, Colin Firth, Christine Barankski, Andy Garcia, Meryl Streep and Cher! Screenplay and directed by Ol Parker. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”

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Young Donna (Lily James) and Her Back Ups in ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’
Photo credit: Universal Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”

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