FILMS… Mamma Mia 2 : Here We Go Again (2018)


Mummy… mummy… mummy?


Mamma Mia returns for an origins story all about Sophie’s mother, Donna with a mystery on where Donna is now… and Cher.


Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (Universal Pictures) HD, Universal Pictures Ireland and photos © Universal Pictures


In a change to the advertised programme, we have a trailer review instead of the often reviewed Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Caine. I can promise their joint venture, Inception (2010) will be reviewed in time. Also that it will be a brilliant masterpiece of a review that will challenge every thought you ever had when you saw this movie. And not a full-tilt gitter on how lovely Leonardo DiCaprio is, or how marvellous Michael Caine is. But these attributes will be mentioned. Probably.

The film preview reviewed today is Mamma Mia Here We Go Again (2018) and the Mamma Mia (2008) sequel. This film has the most honest name for a sequel ever namely… Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again (2018). The title sums up exactly what I felt after seeing this film trailer.

It’s how I feel reading about most origin stories. As this origins story was flashbacked about to fun effect in the 2008 original, so I for one don’t care. It’s also a bit like how I feel about that upcoming Hans Solo origin story. I’m sure most of the Star Wars equivalent of Trekkies feel about it too… and that’s even if these new much talked about refilmed scenes have a computer-generated young Harrison Ford and is voiced by Harrison Ford himself.

I summed up the plot for the Mamma Mia (2008) film as …

Sophie has invited 3 of her mother’s old flames to her wedding..but which one will be revealed as Sophie’s father.

Mamma Mia 2 starts with Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) telling us she’s pregnant and alone as she shares this big news with her mothers BFFs, Tanya (Christine Baranski) and Rosie (Julie Walters) who have visited by boat. All three reminisce about Sophie’s mother Donna (Meryl Streep) in the past tense with flashbacks from the first film. Creepily all the cast have the same haircuts as they had in the first film, but to be fair Julie Walters looks blonder (and more of that gripe later).

This use of the past tense in scenes led to uproar from the Mamma Mia fan base as all and sundry online assumed Donna was dead. This instead of a plotline where she has run off with another man who played Bond. Don’t laugh as may have happened if Daniel Craig was hanging out in Kalokairi while Donna was shacked up with Sam (Pierce Brosnan). 

Especially if he came out the sea in those wee swimming trunks in that James Bond movie…Or there had been a golf course on the island, and Connery had made a wee visit. This uproar reminded me of when a character was killed off in the third Bridget Jones book Mad About the Boy (2013).. click here for a not so secret spoiler. Ironically this character in the book was played in the movie was played by one of Sophie’s three dads.

We then get by flashback, Donna’s story  – the first film which I reviewed as a guilty pleasure HERE – with photogenic younger actors and those familiar oldies. It seems, as a young girl, she bought her only non-ABBA related tribute clothes that she owns. Those infernal dungarees that she owned like forever ie the 10 years after the sequel / first movie. To be fair she may well have bought a spare pair too, just in case they ran out of stock. (which is extremely doubtful)

For the three dads there is a plummy (bland) Englishman as Pierce Sam (sadly with no dulcet Irish accent) and a Matt Smith lookalike as Colin Firth’s Harry (is this a hint for the older Duke of Edinburgh casting in The Crown (2016).)

Finally, there’s a Swedish looking actor as Stellan Skarsgard’s Bill who doesn’t speak in the trailer is interchangeable with Harry and probably sounds like the Swedish Chef from The Muppet Show (1976-81). But maybe I shouldn’t judge until he talks. Gerard Butler’s “Irish” accent still haunts me (and probably Hilary Swank).

These lovely young things scenes are intercut with shots of the oldies – so as you remember who played who as its 10 years – since the original. Yes, did they really have to make this movie? All the cast have the same haircuts and dress similarly, both then and now to make it easier for us to remember who is who. Gripe over.

This is combined with scenes, annoyingly so much like the original but with Seyfried where Streep should be. Then flashforward back to pregnant, Sophie seeing the reappearance of Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Peter Skarsgard. This trio is happily together like the 3 Musketeers in a bromance triangle.

Sadly, I was unaware a prequel was in the offing or I would have been tempted to call their agents to ask why these actors were allowed to return for this film. And ask why they couldn’t have signed them up for another Bond movie / The CrownAvengers Infinity War (2018) – delete as applicable – instead…

Donna’s mother and Sophie’s grandmother, Ruby Sheridan appears totally eclipsing upstaging Dominic Cooper’s return as Sky. She also arrives by helicopter (as all movie grannies do, but usually in Irwin Allen movies) and played by a blonde Cher. At which time I sob uncontrollably,  remembering Cher more fondly in The Witches of Eastwick (1987) and the rest of the cast in much better things.

But on the bright side, looking at the cast on IMDb, Meryl Streep is mentioned. She doesn’t sign up for duds (that often) so we can safely deduce unless she’s in flashback, she is alive. A nation cheers. I also spotted Andy Garcia appears in this prequel too as Fernando.

Fernando is, of course, an ABBA song and this a ballad and it’s said that this song is sung by Cher in this movie. So should I just check out those lyrics…possibly for a wee spoiler on the character? I just hope it’s not going to lead us to a prequel of a prequel of a sequel.


Cinema Shame No 1: February

This post is the first of eleven posts for the Cinema Shame collaboration with my other films listed here. Other films with this cast include Mamma Mia. Peter Skarsgard appears in Thor. Colin Firth in Bridget Jones Baby and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Pierce Brosnan in The Fourth Protocol5 Singing Film Actors and Mars Attacks. Meryl Streep in Kramer vs Kramer and Heartburn. Julie Walters in Canterbury Tales and One  Chance. Dominic Cooper in Starter for 10. Amanda Seyfried stars in A Million Ways to Die in the West. Cher stars in Moonstruck, Mermaids and The Witches of Eastwick.




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