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Paddington 2 brings more of the warm family fun seen in the Bafta-nominated first film

THE first Paddington movie scooped up two Bafta nominations along with £265million at the box office.

So this sequel was as inevitable as a thunderstorm on the way home from the hairdresser’s.

 Paddington 2 had a hard act to follow after the first movie scooped up two Bafta nominations and took £265million at the box officeStudio Canal Paddington 2 had a hard act to follow after the first movie scooped up two Bafta nominations and took £265million at the box office

The only question was, would Paddington 2 be a hastily thrown together cash-grab, or more of the same charm and cosiness we got when we first travelled to Peru?

Thankfully it’s the latter — it’s blooming brill.

Pretty much picking up where the last one left off, Paddington has settled nicely into life with the Browns and, with the exception of eternal busybody Mr Curry (Peter Capaldi), is a welcome addition to London life.

Thinking about Aunt Lucy, as Paddington often does, he takes it upon himself to buy a special birthday present for her, a magical pop-up book.

 Luckily, the movie doesn't disappoint and picks up pretty much where the last one left off Luckily, the movie doesn't disappoint and picks up pretty much where the last one left off

Unfortunately, the book has also caught the eye of the villainous and bitter D-list actor Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant).

A kids’ version of The Da Vinci Code ensues, which sees our bear winding up in chokey with all sorts of unsavoury characters.

But can he get his book, family and reputation back and unlock the secret to some buried treasure?

 The movie is packed with warm family fun tied together with some wonderful performances The movie is packed with warm family fun tied together with some wonderful performances

The film is essentially a sequence of set-pieces glued together by some wonderful performances.

But if there is anyone who deserves commendation, it has to be Grant, who is absolutely stunning.

It’s his best performance since Four Weddings by a country mile — he is clearly having the time of his life giving it the old Terry-Thomas.

Trailer for Paddington 2 sees bear return to the big screen, this time joined by Hugh Grant

A particularly brilliant dance sequence at the end will make Anton Du Beke quake in his boots. This is Grant’s film.

In fact, the really clever thing director Paul King has done is nail what we are into and present it in a way that doesn’t seem forced.

We have our “Strictly” bit, but there’s also more than a whiff of Paul Hollywood in Brendan Gleeson’s grumpy cook Knuckles McGinty — leading the way for prison’s first cinematic cake scene without a hidden file — all wrapped up in a cinematic version of London I dearly wished was real.

 Hugh Grant steals the show with his best performance since Four Weddings Hugh Grant steals the show with his best performance since Four Weddings

Paddington 2 really is simply more of the same joyous warmth, with a sprinkling of Hugh Grant on top form.

It doesn’t need to break boundaries or try to make life difficult for itself.

Instead, it concentrates on making this a fantastic family film — and more than succeeds.

Paddington 2 

(PG) 103mins

★★★★☆

  • Topics
  • Jamie East

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