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  • Writer's pictureKaveh Jalinous

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018): Film Review

In the world of film, the idea of turning a hit musical into a motion picture has seen a roller-coaster of different reviews, with some films hitting the spot and some flopping completely. The conversion is hard, and sometimes can prove successful, but when it flops, it hurts even more. The film becomes utterly painful to watch, and none of the songs even end up sticking in your head. 10 years ago, the film adaption of the ABBA inspired classic musical Mamma Mia! hit the screen, and although it didn't clash very well with critics, fans loved it, and it made a good amount of money at the box office. Well, the people at Universal Studios decided that the world needed a second Mamma Mia!, and announced a sequel in 2017. And, to me, that was a huge mistake. Because all though Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again has its moments, and quite the breakout star, the film just seems unnecessary, with only a few scenes differing it from the cliches of musical-turned-movies. The film takes place one year after the events of the first, and a lot has changed since then. Revolving between two timelines, the film balances the story of Sophie's (Amanda Seyfried) quest to open a hotel on the famed Greek island and Young Donna's (Lily James) first encounters with Harry, Bill, and Sam. All the faces from the first have returned, with a few new additions as well. Overall, the film is filled with a lot of new ABBA music, a lot of dancing, and a healthy amount of homage to the original film. To me, it just doesn't work. The film is not completely awful, but it has a lot of problems that haunt, and eventually ruin, the fate of the film. The biggest success of the film was by far its breakout star Lily James. Although we have seen her in a good amount of supporting roles, specifically 2017's wonder-hit Baby Driver, she gets the spotlight all (well, mostly) to herself, and uses it to her best potential, solidifying her role as a serious and good actor. After a gruesomely slow first and second act, the film manages to launch itself to rocket speed third act that is filled with the humor, entertainment, and zest that the fans loved from the first film. Honestly, my major problem with Here We Go Again is that I had to ask myself, multiple times, "what is the point of all this?" Why was any of this necessary? The plot was laughable, and went absolutely nowhere by the end of the movie. The music was disappointing, especially for a film that is mainly based on the idea of music and dancing itself. The film is extremely slow for the first hour, and that takes a toll on the viewer; because I honestly was beginning to get embarrassed that I was even in the theatre witnessing this so-called movie. Here We Go Again took a trend that a lot of films this summer have been doing: showing us that they only exist to grab cash. It doesn't need to be a good movie, it just needs an audience. And I, for one, am sick of seeing movies like these. With many independent movies reshaping the face of modern cinema, films like this (cash-grabbers) feel more and more irrelevant and forced. And adding to a first film that was nothing more than average, this sequel bodes as even more of a disappointment.


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