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  • 3.5 out of 5

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again - Why can't all customs officials be like Omid Djalili?

Ok, confession time. I loved Mamma Mia!

I loved Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again as well. I laughed. I sang along. I wept. What more could you ask for from a film?

Five years have passed since the events in the first film. Donna (Meryl Streep's character) is dead and her daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is planning a big opening party for the hotel she completed, fulfilling her mother's dream. She begins to wonder what life was like for her mother and in a series of wonderful flash-backs we get Donna's story: how she came to the island and how Sophie ended up with three dads.

This is where the talented and stunning Lily James takes on the role of young Donna and steals the whole film. Yes, there are bigger names and bigger stars in the film but she is such a presence on the screen and brings a joi de vivre to every scene. The last film I saw her in was Baby Driver where she played a waitress and again, the camera loved her. This film stretches her talents and she takes it all in her stride. For me, she is the highlight of the film.

All the usual suspects turn up, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski, and yes, as we know from the trailer, Cher turns up as the grandmother. She sings a few songs and brings some life to the flagging third act. I just kept waiting for something to pop.

Directed and co-written by Ol Parker, the film just about manages to capture the magic of the first. Yes, there are not as many surprises as the first film but Pierce does get to sing again! Richard Curtis has his identifiable finger prints all over this one and manages to inject the script with some romance that the first film lacked. If you liked Love Actually, there is a good chance you will like this too.

Almost as good as the first. Go see it. In a tired world loaded with sarcasm and bad news this film is bright and bubbly. Yes it's nonsense but it's life Jim and don't we love it.

Oh and stay to the end for the short after-credits scene!

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