Danny B’s review published on Letterboxd:
Call me miserable, call me dead inside, I won't argue, but these Mamma Mia films clearly aren't made for me, a person who is adverse to most musicals and that sense of "Let's just have some clean fun". I don't know why I went to see this. I despised the first, a dire mess of screechy old banshees poorly singing along to Abba. It had a certain novelty of how stupid and tacky it was (Pierce Brosnan's singing voice has to be heard to be believed).
10 years later, the sequel "Here We Go Again", is pretty much exactly what people loved about the first one, it's loud, cringe-worthy and if you have any taste in cinema, it will make you throw up in your mouth. Despite this, I hated this one less than the first. There's a definite improvement in quality overall. Lily James is impossible to hate and has a far better singing voice than the older cast.
There was an interesting idea by going "The Godfather: Part 2" route with this and splitting the film in flashbacks and present day story. The flashbacks with Young Donna (Lily James/Meryl Streep) are far more watchable than the present day sequences, but are still filled with eye-rolling cringe and just awful characters. These characters say and do things that make me want to want to slam my head into a wall. It's painful to watch.
I was actually impressed by some of the casting of the younger characters. They did a great job finding people that emulated a younger Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgard and Meryl Streep. It was weird just how little some of the original cast are in it. There's such a strange choice made with Streep's character that is hinted at in the trailers, which may lead to a genuinely emotional scenes if you're into this absolute farce of a musical.
Despite her prominent role in the trailer, Cher shows up for a generous 5 minutes and manages to ham things up even more, by playing Donna's estranged mother and proceeding to sing Fernando. I have very little memory of the first film, but I felt this was just rehashing a lot of the first films song, which is understandable, as the first more or used all of Abba's most famous songs. Some new stuff here and there might have gone a long way.
Yeah, I hated this, which is no surprise, but I'm far from the target audience from this. I'll also add this was barbarically overlong at nearly 2 hours, there is no reason this had to be over 90 minutes long. If you enjoy this, I get it. I suppose this is a middle aged woman's version of The Expendables, I guess. Whatever, each to their own. I'll still watch a third.