“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, the sequel to 2008’s Mamma Mia!, is the musical of summer 2018.
This newest venture based on the hit musical featuring Swedish pop supergroup, ABBA’s biggest hits shares many elements with its predecessor. Not only does it feature most of the main cast from the original film, but many of the songs in the original film were revisited in one form or another.
This film opens five years after the events of the original with Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) making the finishing touches on the completely renovated hotel in anticipation for the grand re-opening event. Meryl Streep’s Donna died a year before the events of this movie and her death is being mourned by her daughter and husband, Sophie and Sam (Pierce Brosnan). Additionally, they chose to name the new hotel, the Bella Donna, in her honor. Donna’s best friends; Rosie (Julie Walters) and Tanya (Christine Baranski) also return for the grand re-opening of the Bella Donna, and their scenes together and with Sophie are terrific. Finally, we are also introduced to Donna’s mother who is played by the one and only Cher.
As she prepares for the opening, Sophie starts to reflect on her mother’s early life and how young Donna found her way to the island and made it her home. Young Donna is played by Lily James who does a swell job of portraying a younger version of Streep’s character by embodying all of the important characteristics that make Donna who she is. We are also introduced to the younger versions of Rosie and Tanya, played respectively by Alexa Davies and Jessica Keenan Wynn. Wynn in particular does a spectacular job of perfectly embodying the younger version of Baranski’s character to a point that it seems they could truly be the same person. Through the journey of young Donna, the audience is also introduced to the younger versions of Sophie’s three dads; Sam, Bill (Stellan Skarsgård), and Harry (Colin Firth). Young Harry is brilliantly played by Hugh Skinner, Josh Dylan is the youthful embodiment of Bill, and finally Jeremy Irvine thrills as young Sam.
The movie is a perfect sequel which pays tribute to the original without sacrificing the individual stories throughout. There are a couple of different storylines to follow as the movie shows the parallels between Sophie’s preparation for the grand re-opening and Donna’s discovery of the island and the farmhouse that she turns into her hotel. However, there is not really an overall plot to follow. The minimal plot we are given is overwhelmed by the songs that are the focal point of the movie. The movie is also hard to follow if you have not seen the original movie.
Despite the lack of a true plot, the songs are performed well, and you will get caught up in enjoying each performance. If you enjoyed Mamma Mia, or musicals in general, or if you just want to take in a fun-filled, light-hearted movie I definitely recommend this film. I do suggest that you see the original first. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is rated PG-13 for some suggestive material but is suitable for all audiences. I give it a 4 out of 5.