A film that ultimately resembles a large pile of manure covered by a lengthy sequined blanket. Everyone can smell it, but it looks sparkly so we should forgive it, en masse
Beneath the fake tanned, shabbily constructed, wildly choreographed, green-screened messy exterior of Here We Go Again, is an old retiring cow receiving its last ever milking. Its teats are squeezed and squeezed until all that comes out are small puffs of air sounding remarkably like Pierce Brosnan’s singing voice.
Here We Go Again starts five years after the fun of the original movie. Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is nearly ready to show off the newly renovated Hotel Bella Donna, sending out invites to all the people who mean something to her, or her mother Donna (Meryl Streep). As she prepares for the grand opening, the film tracks back to discover just how a much younger Donna (Lily James) got to the Greek island of Kalokairi in the first place.
It’s pretty clear how laughably bad Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is, but nobody seems to want to admit it. Blinded by an endless and undefeatable love for ABBA, audiences will watch on and cheer a film that ultimately resembles a large pile of manure covered by a lengthy sequined blanket. Everyone can smell it, but it looks sparkly so we should forgive it, en masse.
The production value is atrocious, with awful costumes, some of the worst green-screen work cinema has ever seen (let alone the last 10 years), and choreography that continuously looks like they were given one take to get it right. Here We Go Again falls apart at the slightest of inspections and just because it doesn’t take itself seriously, doesn’t mean it should get away with such blatant laziness.
The story gives the incredible impression that the soundtrack was listed first, with the remaining spaces filled with ‘plot’ to arrange a path from one song to the next. It’s a barbaric idea, until the quality the rest of the film runs with comes to light, making it seem reasonable to assume it is, in fact, the case. A film can be made to feel irreverent and free whilst still gripping onto its dignity and prowess, and with a $75,000,000 budget that should have been water off a duck’s back. Instead it feels like drinking a sloppy bowl of dry porridge layered thick with hundreds and thousands. The porridge is there, but nobody has to see it if they don’t want to.
Of course, Here We Go Again doesn’t come without some positives. Lily James is thrilling as young Donna, commanding every single scene she features in, making the present day sequences even worse than they were already. Jessica Keenan Wynn is literally Christine Baranski post-fountain of youth, displaying some incredible mimicking work, and Andy Garcia’s Cienfuegos is the supplier of most of the humorous moments. Though there are few.
Essentially, Here We Go Again is nothing short of shocking. A terribly produced and poorly organised vehicle for two hours of constant ABBA tunes, with no real care given to how it will eventually look or sound on screen. Yet, audiences will flock, proclaiming such sayings as ‘Oh Joy!’ and ‘How wonderful!’ without truly differentiating between a good film, a good musical, and utter bloody drivel.
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