Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Given Hollywood’s penchant for milking franchises for all they’re worth, it’s hard to believe that it’s taken the industry a whole decade to make a sequel to the musical phenomenon that is Mamma Mia! Regardless, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is finally here with the entire main cast returning as well as a few new additions. Of course it also features your favorite ABBA songs and dance numbers, too. Simply put, it’s more of the same romantic toe-tapping fun and will surely put a smile on anyone’s face.


Five years following the events of the first film Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is busy preparing for the grand reopening of her late mother Donna’s (Meryl Streep) villa on the Greek island of Kalokairi. It’s been a year since her passing, and everyone is still coming to terms with the fact that she’s not there. As they reminisce about the good old days, we get to see flashbacks to a young Donna (Lily James) and how she first came to meet Sophie’s three “dads,” Sam (Pierce Brosnan/Jeremy Irvine), Harry (Colin Firth/Hugh Skinner), and Bill (Stellan Skarsgård/Josh Dylan).


Like the original Mamma Mia!, Here We Go Again is a romantic story filled with catchy songs and dances. If you enjoyed the first film there’s no doubt you’ll enjoy the sequel. The biggest, and most apparent difference, is the absence of Meryl Streep for the majority of the movie. She is without a doubt the lifeblood of the franchise, and the film just isn’t the same without her. I feel like the film would have benefited more had it withheld her from advertisements and saved her cameo appearance as a surprise rather than have people constantly wondering when she was going to show up.


That being said, Lily James does do a pretty fantastic job at capturing her younger spirit. All of the actors represented in the flashback scenes are spot-on for their older counterparts as a matter of fact. From their looks to even their mannerisms, they’re all totally believable as younger versions of the actors from the first film, Jessica Keenan Wynn as a young Christine Baranski especially. The fact that you have these two stories going on simultaneously and that pretty much everyone returns, makes it even more convincing.


The only thing I did not fully enjoy was the addition of Cher as Sophia’s grandmother. While she has an amazing singing voice that is miles above everyone else, her acting ability dives far below. Her appearance is distracting, and frankly I would have preferred more Meryl Streep. No film ever hasn’t benefited from more Meryl Streep.


Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is a fine sequel that delivers to audiences exactly what is expected of the franchise; more ABBA songs, flashy dance numbers, and a heartwarming love story. Even though it’s been 10 years, it still feels like it was yesterday that we were singing and dancing on the island of Kalokairi. The film doesn’t skip a beat.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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