Movie Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Running Time: 1 hour 53 minutes
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Musical
Rated PG-13 for some suggestive material
Grade: B
Written and Directed by Ol Parker
Based on the original musical by Catherine Johnson

Do What Makes Your Soul Shine

Ten years have passed since Mamma Mia opened in theaters in July 2008.  The story, with hits from the popular super group ABBA and based on the smash-hit stage musical, was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical by the Golden Globes.  It went on the gross $615 million, becoming the fifth highest-grossing film of 2008.

The beloved characters are back to reprise their roles, including Academy Award® winner Meryl Streep as Donna, Academy Award ® winner Colin Firth as Sam, Amanda Seyfried as Sophie, Dominic Cooper as Sky, Pierce Brosnan as Harry, Stellan Skarsgård as Bill, Julie Walters as Rosie and Christine Baranski as Tanya.  

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

The talented Lily James (Cinderella, Baby Driver) joins the ensemble as Young Donna.  Other new additions include Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) as Young Sam, Josh Dylan (Allied) as Young Bill and Hugh Skinner (Kill Your Friends) as Young Harry. None of the actors closely resemble the younger versions of the “dads”, but you overlook it because the chemistry with James is fantastic.  I thought Irvine was great as Sam, but Dylan’s smile and charisma stole the show. He was dazzling and he certainly made an impression on the audience.

The film is told by going back and forth from the present to the past (1979) with a few scenes in England and Paris, but the majority taking place on the magical Greek island of Kalokairi.  Principal filming was done on location in Croatia in the fall of 2017. I am sure plenty of your operators will see an uptick in requests to trips to Greece and/or Croatia.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again opens with Donna showing up late to her college graduation, stepping on stage to deliver her student address and then breaking into ABBA’s hit When I Kissed the Teacher.  It sets the stage for a fun-filled evening that will have you dancing in your seat.  If you look closely, you will see Björn Ulvaeus as a university professor on the stage.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Back in the present, Sophie is getting the Hotel Bella Donna ready for its grand reopening with the help from her hotel manager played by the remarkable Andy Garcia. She is upset because two of her dads can’t make it and her husband Sky is in the United States learning from the best hoteliers in the business.  As Sophie struggles with focusing on the hotel, she is supported by Sam and her mom’s best friends.

As the film pivots back and forth between 1979 and the present day, we get to know what happened to Donna that summer. First, she met Harry in a Paris Hotel where they sang and danced to Waterloo, then she met Bill and hitched a ride on his boat after missing the ferry to Kalokairi and finally, during a storm she meets Sam and falls head over heels.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again made me want to get out of my seat to sing and dance.  The choreography was excellent. I really enjoyed watching the Waterloo scene.  It was fun and engaging.  The film also includes hits such as What’s the Name of the Game, Dancing Queen, Knowing Me, Knowing You and Super Trouper.

Life is short, the world is wide.  I want to make some memories.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus return to provide music and lyrics and serve as executive producers.  Get ready to laugh, cry, sing and dance to the beloved music of ABBA and enjoy the magnificent landscapes and turquoise waters along with the wonderful costumes by Michele Clapton.  ~A.S. MacLeod

Amanda Seyfried  as Sophie
Lily James as Young Donna
Pierce Brosnan as Sam
Josh Dylan as Young Bill
Jeremy Irvine as Young Sam
Dominic Cooper as Sky
Stellan Skarsgård as Bill
Colin Firth as Harry
Andy Garcia as Fernando
Christine Baranski as Tanya
Julie Walters as Rosie
Hugh Skinner as Young Harry
Panos Mouzourakis as Lazaros
with Cher and Meryl Streep as Ruby and Donna



About Leigh Ann Rassler