This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
beca’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is like seeing an old friend after a long time.
The beginning of the movie is more than a little awkward and slow. The When I Kissed the Teacher sequence in particular felt a little too ridiculous and whimsical too soon, especially surrounded by the sobering scenes of Sophie trying to sort out her marriage and the grand re-opening of her mother's hotel.
The flashback versions of the three men of Donna's life were all uh...Not Great at singing, and for a while I started thinking that the structured plot may be a problem for the sequel. While the first movie thrived on being a jukebox musical that threw one song after another at it's audience without any care for its loose plot, Here We Go Again shows an attempt to tell a story.. an unfortunately repetitive one that we already knew most of the details of.
Fortunately, the movie more than makes up for it's rough beginnings in its second half. I think the first turning point for me was around the point when a young Sam and Donna save a horse, but it really gets to the heart of the original during and after Dancing Queen. It's fun, and charming, and absolutely insane. Cher sings to an old lover that just happens to be working the event, Donna comes back from the dead in a moving performance as what can only be assumed to be a ghost, and then all logic is thrown out the window to allow the past and present to come together in a ridiculous over the top performance of Super Trouper. And it's GREAT. It's everything good about what the original was and is.
I had some reservations about most of this movie being in flashback with new actors and a presumably dead Donna when the trailers came out, but man did they do a great job. The poor singing of the boys aside, everyone's characterizations were spot on. Harry, Tanya and Rosie were especially beyond perfect and all of them really fit in seamlessly with the old cast.