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Blu-ray Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

October 24, 2018

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

Did we really need a belated sequel to Mamma Mia! The Movie? Not really, but Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is just so enjoyable to watch that it’s hard to really care.

Arriving a full decade after the first one, the film takes us back to the Greek island and opens with Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) preparing for the grand reopening of the Hotel Bella Donna, while reflecting on the life of her mother Donna (Meryl Streep), who has since passed away.

Where as the first film followed the story of the Broadway musical, focusing on Sophie trying to find her birth father amongst her mother’s three former lovers Sam (Pierce Brosnan), Bill (Stellan Skarsgård) and Harry (Colin Firth), much of this sequel unfolds in flashbacks.

The film takes us back in time to focus on Donna as a young woman (Lily James), showing us how she came to meet the young Sam (Jeremy Irvine), the young Bill (Josh Dylan) and the young Harry (Hugh Skinner), and the consecutive flings that she had with them. This is where much of the film’s fun is to be had. Yes, it’s essentially a jukebox musical of ABBA songs with a very loose story wrapped around it, but that’s hardly a bad thing. The film is carried by a strong ensemble cast, featuring likeable performances from both the returning players and the newcomers, including a brief but enjoyable appearance from Cher as Sophie’s grandmother.

Director Ol Parker keeps the tone light and breezy, understanding that the film mainly functions as an excuse to watch an attractive cast of actors sing and dance their way through scenic locales, and while this might sound frivolous, there’s also nothing wrong with that. The film is often campy and sometimes cheesy, but this is all part of its charm. The musical numbers are bright and entertaining, the cast seems to be having a blast in their respective roles, and there is a real sense of fun to Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again that is wholly infectious to watch.

The Blu-ray also includes a sing-along version of the film, as well as a pair of commentary tracks, several deleted/extended songs and scenes, a Today Show interview with Cher and producer Judy Craymer, and a bunch of featurettes on various aspects of the production.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is a Universal Pictures Home Entertainment release. It’s 114 minutes and rated PG.

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