MOVIE REVIEW: MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN
MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN! is both a sequel and a retelling of the original film. In 2008’s MAMMA MIA we hear about Donna Sheridan’s (Meryl Streep) promiscuous period that resulted in her not knowing who the father of her daughter is. In MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN we see a young Donna Sheridan (Lily James) go through this promiscuous period meeting the younger versions of Sophie’s three possible fathers. Cut between flash back scenes is the present day in which Sophie is hurriedly putting the finishing touches on the grand opening of the hotel that her late mother had once dreamt of opening.
The two narratives are both the strength and weakness of this film. Donna’s story is already well known from the first film so it feels like a bit of a retread. While Sophie’s story contributes far less plot wise but adds emotion in the form of constant grief and mourning over her mother’s death. Over all, this is a better more entertaining film than the original as it is both funnier and more complicated emotionally.
Fans of 2008’s MAMMA MIA! may both love and hate this film. While the spirit of the original film is intact, many things from the first film have been tossed out. In MAMMA MIA! photos of all three of Donna’s lovers are shown displaying all the men as having a 70s rocker look with varying degrees of long hair, facial hair, and tattoos. In this film none of the men resemble the pictures shown in the first film. One of the mysteries of the original film is why the aunt of one of Donna’s lovers had given her money to purchase a villa. In this film the villa is simply given to her by someone else. The first film also mentions Donna’s mother being devoutly religious and implied she was dead. In this film she is alive and happens to be a famous Las Vegas performer stunt casted to have Cher in the role.
Another issue with MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN is the music. Both films are musicals based on the music of the 1970s group ABBA. The first film featured 21 of the group’s songs. The sequel features 18 songs but 6 of them were already used in the first movie making parts of this film seem like a bit of a rerun.
The longer it has been between viewings of the first film and this one the better. This is not a series in which you want to watch the movies back to back as the issues with this second film will become less apparent as more time passes between the two.
Overall, MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN is a fun film with some emotional moments and plenty of sing along opportunities.