Mamma Mia 2: Cheesy Good Fun

Especially if you're an ABBA fan, of course
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2018 11:56 AM CDT
Mamma Mia 2 Treats ABBA Fans, Maybe Exclusively
A scene from "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again."   (Jonathan Prime/Universal Pictures via AP)

Prepare to have ABBA tunes rolling around your head: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, set five years after the first movie, finds Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) hard at work on the hotel her mother, Donna (Meryl Streep, Lilly James) keeps on a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. But her tranquil surroundings are about to be upset by plenty of new and familiar faces. Here's what critics are saying:

  • Lindsey Bahr at the AP suggests you "bask in the effervescent insanity." Yes, it's cheesy, "the dialogue may be ridiculous, the plot may be questionable, and the musical numbers may be staged and stitched together like a manic fever dream." Still, "it's the kind of movie that feels and sounds like a summer vacation should: Fizzy, lively, low-stakes and soundtracked by ABBA."
  • But be warned: The songs come from the "leftovers collection," and "everyone sings nonstop, even the actors who shouldn't." Excluding Streep, who's "barely" in the film, Peter Travers writes at Rolling Stone. You may still enjoy seeing Julie Walters ("perfect"), Richard Curtis ("tartly funny") and James, "a knockout" as a young Donna—but "nothing can save the herky-jerky, prequel-sequel setup of the plot."

  • "It's not that Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is terrible; it's just not terribly good," Bruce DeMara writes at the Toronto Star, pointing out Cher's late appearance "seems a tad gimmicky." Yet "ABBA fans—the ones who will go to see the sequel no matter what—are going to have a reasonably good, if not a roaring great time, so Mamma Mia 2 gets our tepid endorsement."
  • Calling it "a love letter to love," Colin Covert found the sequel "as enticing as the original." Cutting between the past and present is "a conceptually daring approach that works like a charm." Plus, the movie's songs are "handled with showstopping energy," he writes at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, deciding "anyone who can watch it without getting sucked in must have a very strong hold on the armrests."
(More movie review stories.)

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