Meryl Streep is dead.
Pierce Bronsan couldn’t sing if his chest hair was on fire.
And Ol Parker should be thrown into a Greek octopus farm for making Amanda Seyfried whisper her lines.
But if you loved the original “Mama Mia,” you will still love “Mama Mia! Here we go again.”
“Mia 2” attempts to flesh out the story of one mom, three dads and one baby.
I found the jumping back and forth between the past and present with Seyfried playing both the present Sophie and her mother (Donna) more than a little confusing. We see the young Donna meet the younger versions of the three dads, Sam, Bill and Harry and then discover the Aegean island of Kalokairi.
The movie begins with Sophie planning the grand opening of a hotel on that island in a tribute to her deceased mother.
An interesting twist comes with the appearance at the rain drenched gala of Sophie’s estranged grandmother played by Cher.
And in a move that any Jefferson resident will understand since any hotel without a resident ghost is not worth the courtesy shampoo, Donna (still played by Steep) makes an ephemeral appearance at the christening of her grand child.
It should come as no surprise that the two best songs of the evening are “Dancing Queen” and “Fernando” – an enchanting duet performed by Cher and Andy Garcia.
There are some solid performances in the secondary roles of Donna’s now older pals Tanya (Christine Baranski) and Rosie (Julie Walters), as well as her younger college chums played by Jessica Keenan Wynn and Alexa Davies.
Parker manages the giant ensemble and Abba vibe with reasonable competency. It’s a musical. It will not be perfect. It only must be fun.
Fun is what you get.
“Mama Mia! Here We Go Again” earns a stunning 78 percent on the Rotten Tomato Meter. Rated PG-13 for suggestive material, the movie runs 116 minutes. For showtimes see the Marshall Cinema ad on this page or go to Jimplecute1848.com.
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