Jacob Martin (formally known as The Movie King)’s review published on Letterboxd:
Um... how is Mamma Mia 2 a good movie???
Seriously, I had a great time watching this! Sure the first movie can be enjoyed, but that film suffered from annoying, paper-thin characters, out-of-nowhere ABBA covers, and painful Pierce Brosnan singing lessons.
But here we are, 10 years after that strange surprise smash, and we get a sequel hybrid that takes its inspiration from... The Godfather Part II???
I am seriously not making this up. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again is modeled after The Godfather II, and it freaking works.
I don't know it they had different writers working on where to go with these characters and they tried harder, but I honestly felt weight in the sequel aspects with Amanda Seyfriend and where her character was heading, along with the prequel aspects with Lily James playing a younger version of Meryl Streep. There's also a greater emphasis on the self-aware comedy to where it felt like they knew it's difficult to take these movies seriously and embraced its absurdity.
Even the ABBA songs, despite singing mostly the same songs from the previous film, are executed much better and they don't feel near as awkward. In fact, Lily James kills it with her sweet chops and made it a much more energetic experience. Also worth mentioning is that Pierce Brosnan does not sing nearly as much, which is an automatic improvement from its predecessor.
Though the biggest scene-stealer in this movie, I must emphasise, is Cher, who proves that even in her 70s, she's as charming as ever and can still sing gracefully even in over-the-top musicals.
As for flaws, if you're one who despised the first for its absurdity, I can't see this changing your mind as it's still over-the-top, despite having better writing. Also, considering she was a big part of the first, Meryl Streep is barely in this, which surprised me, but when you see the film, in a story sense, that's the only way they could work I believe in making a good Mamma Mia movie.
I'm as surprised as you, Mamma Mia 2 does everything better in its execution, from its writing, the ABBA numbers, to the humor. It was never designed to be the greatest musical ever made, but if you're looking for a fun time at the movies with well-executed covers of excepitonal ABBA songs, then this is the film for you.
Rolling Stone song of the day, #383...
"Brown Eyed Handsome Man" by Chuck Berry (1956). Inspired by a real-life incident where women were falling for a good-looking Hispanic man while being arrested, Chuck brought his rock-and-roll genius talents and crafted yet another iconic song displaying his groundbreaking accomplishments to the field of rock.