Movie Review: Paddington 2

THE lovable bear has done it again. Paddington 2 packs a punch of love, laughter, and good manners, in an adventure that only the marmalade-loving bear can pull off with such optimism and delight.

Most modern audiences got their first dose of Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw) in 2014 original, based on the character created by late author Michael Bond.

That's when the Brown family first encountered the stowaway bear, fresh off a cargo ship from the darkest jungles of Peru.

This sequel illustrates how the once-unwelcome bear has become part of the family at picturesque Windsor Garden, as Paddington continues to write to his Aunt Lucy (voiced by Imelda Staunton), describing each of the Brown family's personal developments.

Young Paddington also wants to save enough money for a pop-up book of London as a gift for dear Aunt Lucy's 100th birthday, which leads him to do odd jobs.

At a family trip to a visiting carnival, Paddington meets conceited actor Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant) and reveals his birthday gift plan.

But the rare pop-up book is burgled from Mr Gruber's antique shop, a day away from him reaching his savings goal.

A misunderstanding ensues, putting the blame of the theft on Paddington's shoulders. He is eventually incarcerated, where he, nevertheless, makes new friends. Meanwhile, the Brown family works hard to clear his name.

Directed by King and produced by David Heyman (who also produced all eight Harry Potter installments), Paddington 2 resumes its imaginative and charming appeal, with each scene serving a purpose, through captivating story-telling, beautiful sets, and brilliant actors.

The same cast from the original film returns as the Brown family, with the now grown-up children, creating a sense of familiarity.

One welcome addition is Grant's character, who is reminiscent of Jim Carrey's portrayal of Count Olaf in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Both adults and children will enjoy this heartwarming tale, and learn a lesson or two from Paddington about being kind to people despite facing major differences in personalities, beliefs or nationalities.

Be prepared to laugh and even well up at scenes that will touch the heart, as Paddington 2 is a fantastic film that Bond would be happy with.

It guarantees to end your year on a lovely note.