Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again

In Cinemas Now

Lily James and Cher join returning stars Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried and Pierce Brosnan in the sequel to 2008's musical smash hit. Two stories are told in parallel: as Sophie (Seyfried) announces her pregnancy, she learns of her mother's past. Screenplay by Ol Parker (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), who also directs.

Here We Go Again indeed, because in many ways this is a repeat of the first film’s fizzy cocktail of big name stars, belting out Abba hits in a fun rom-com set against postcard-perfect Aegean scenes.

Oliver Parker (writer of both Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movies) directs the sequel to Mamma Mia! - the smash 2008 movie of the hit stage musical. A decade later, Donna’s (Meryl Streep) daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is pregnant and worried that she’ll not be able to cope with motherhood. By way of advice, Tanya (Julie Walters), and Rosie (Christine Baranski), take Sophie on a trip down memory lane. We learn how Donna fronted her band, The Dynamos; founded her Greek island villa; met Sophie’s dads (Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, and Stellan Skarsgård), and single-handedly raised Sophie without the help of her own mother, Ruby, who shows up here in the form of Cher.

With a returning cast of reliable performers and a few fresh star turns (and brief cameos by Abba’s Benny and Björn), it’s the young newbies who shine brightest. As young Donna, Lily James is no Meryl Streep, but does just fine, alongside Jessica Keenan Wynn as the young Tanya, and Alexa Davies as young Rosie. The Abba hits keep rolling, the cast keep smiling and everything is just as it was in the first film, only somehow brighter and bolder. It would be easy to dismiss this unashamedly feel-good franchise as so much crowd-pleasing fluff, but beneath the cheesy topping beats a heartfelt love-letter to motherhood, family, friendship and ultimately, living life on your own terms.

Fanciful? Maybe. Corny? Absolutely. Escapist? Definitely. Take it all with a sup of ouzo, give in to the good-natured spirit and this sequel delivers everything you loved about the first movie. Then again, Knowing Me, Knowing You, if you loathed the original, this’ll have you sticking your head in your popcorn-bucket and wailing Why Did It Have to be Me? all over again, because as every Super Trouper and Dancing Queen knows, when it comes to Mamma Mia!, that’s The Name of the Game.

Telegraph (UK)

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The first film’s very specific pleasures are comprehensively encored.

Empire (UK)

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Ten years on this second trip feels older and wiser, for better or worse, and despite the odd misstep you’ll still be dancing in the aisles come the end credits.

Guardian (UK)

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Something in the sheer relentless silliness and uncompromising ridiculousness of this, combined with a new flavour of self-aware comedy, made me smile in spite of myself.

Hollywood Reporter

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Likes to assemble the musical numbers in such a way as to recall the very earliest days of pop videos, with snappy editing or Busby Berkeley-style overhead shots of choreography veering on abstraction.

Variety (USA)

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The feeling comes through, especially at the end — a love poem to the primal bond of mothers and daughters.

Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)

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Sequels either coast to the finish line knowing they'll make a buck anyway, or work hard to justify their existence at all. I reckon Here We Go Again is one of the latter. Bravo.

TimeOut (London)

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The sparkling blue waters are pretty, and the songs are catchy, but you may well wind up feeling smothered by the non-stop corniness of it all.

Herald Sun (Australia)

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Go right ahead and mark this down as a minor, yet welcome movie miracle. For Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is that rare movie sequel that markedly improves upon everything everybody so enjoyed about the original.

Los Angeles Times

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The rare sequel so unexpectedly enchanting that it plays less like a rehash than a reclamation.