Jeremy Crabb’s review published on Letterboxd:
The first Mamma Mia! is probably one of the worst musicals I've ever seen. I do not like that movie at all; it's annoying, boring, and the story is so dry and uninteresting. But with Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, writer and director Ol Parker makes a very fun and delightfully charming prequel/sequel that is so caught up in its own little world that I can easily accept some of the more cartoonish things that happen throughout the film.
Lily James is one of my biggest celebrity crushes (she's kind of the reason I saw this) and I loved her in this movie. Actually, most of the prequel stuff is actually great; predictable and cliche, but great, and incredibly endearing surprisingly. It all has a great energy to it and is a very vibrant and exhausting experience, but all for the better. Most of the musical numbers are very catchy (standouts for me were When I Kissed the Teacher, Waterloo, and Mamma Mia!, which are all in the prequel scenes ironically) and the singing is so much better this time around. I am actually a fan of ABBA so it's nice to see their songs done justice here.
As far as my problems, I do have some; this is nowhere near a perfect movie, even if it's a very fun one. Most of my problems really come down to the sequel aspects of the film, sadly. The sequel stuff actually gets better towards the third act, once Firth and Skarsgard come back into the mix, along with the introduction to Cher's character; but for 2/3 of the movie, every time it would cut back to the sequel stuff, the film stalls. Thankfully, each time it would cut back fairly quickly, so I wasn't hating it, but I was very uninterested in the sequel plotline for a lot of the movie for a lot of it. It just bogged down the pacing a bit, and that is probably my only big problem with the movie. Aside from that, I do think they wasted some of the cast, but that's really all I can think of.
Overall, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is a superior sequel in every way possible; it has the fun and energy, along with the charm that the first film lacked, the musical numbers are so much better, and the cast all have solid chemistry, making the film one of the better feel-good movies of the summer, and a nice surprise. Honestly, if they keep in the vain of this movie and not the first, I would be up for making this a trilogy.