Vanessa’s review published on Letterboxd:
I have to say, for a movie that I only watched because the cinema had air conditioning I was more than pleasantly surprised by Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. I went into this movie expecting nothing (it's not that I didn't like the first movie – I did – but I just didn't feel like it needed a sequel) and came out with a new favourite movie of the year.
In any other case killing off the main character might be a terrible idea but here it's one of the main reasons why Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again works so well. I'm not sure if there would have been anything to add to Donna's story after the first movie so shifting the focus to Sophie while exploring Donna's backstory more closely makes a lot of sense. Initially the latter was one of the reasons why I wasn't interested in the movie because I assumed it wouldn't bring anything new to the table since an abbreviated version of the story was already included in the first movie. And to some degree it didn't. We already knew all these things. But this is Mamma Mia and ultimately it doesn't matter. Because nobody watches these movies for the story. We – or at least I – watch them because they exude a kind of ease and fun that not a lot of movies have in a time where every summer movie has to be bigger and better and make more money than everything else. Thus it also doesn't matter if some of the cast members aren't the best singers (although thanks to Lily James and Cher the quality of the songs improved a lot), they may not win awards for their singing but at least you can see that they are having fun – and how could they not, it's ABBA!
Honestly, if you ask me they could make one of these movies every few years. There are more than enough ABBA songs and if they ever run out they could just make an entire movie that consists of nothing but different versions of Waterloo. I thought they couldn't do it better than in the credits of the first movie but they really outdid themselves with the brilliant restaurant scene.