Paddington 2 Is a Fuzzy Teddybear of a Movie

Mum's the word Hugh Bonneville looks dashing in a green three-piece suit as he promoted Paddington 2 with The Moms at their New York screening

Paddington 2 fits his sensibilities in more ways than one. This time around, Paddington, voiced by Ben Whishaw, is happily settled with his family, the Browns, in Windsor Gardens and has become an esteemed member of their community. He wants this book to send it as a gift to his Anglophile Aunt Lucy in Peru for her 100th birthday. One night Paddington notices a odd man breaking into the antique store that houses the coveted pop-up book, attempts to stop it and wrongly ends up in prison. The real culprit is Paddington's neighbor, the washed-up actor Phoenix Buchanan, who pilfered the book to help fund his one-man show. Determined not to lose faith, Paddington keeps his head up and does his best to befriend his fellow inmates, including the prison's ill-tempered cook Nuckles McGinty (Brendan Gleeson). His latest project, Paddington 2, features the British star in villainous mode, indulging in what may be his favorite type of acting: playful self-mockery.

Ditching the tie for the more casual event, Hugh posed alongside Melissa, Denise, and their kids as he promoted the kids film. Paul King and Simon Farnaby's follow-up to the handsome first film never forgets or betrays the world that's been previously set up.

It's here where the movie hits its comic stride as the perpetually sunny Paddington tries to make friends in prison, even a hulking and ill-tempered guy name Knuckles (Brenden Gleason).

"Paddington 2" throws a lot at our plaintive hero, and a lot at the audience. Like the first Paddington, the sequel has a Wes Anderson-style attention to detail and a keen eye for quirky visuals, thanks to King and his returning collaborators behind the camera (including, cinematographer Erik Wilson and production designer Gary Williamson).

Earlier in the day Hugh went to New York Live to talk about the film, and was candid and witty as he spoke about his character Mr Brown: 'Well [he] gets passed over for promotion and he feels like his world is falling apart, he's getting fat, he's starting to creak, his hair is going grey. I mean, it shouldn't have even worked the first time. "Paddington looks for the good in all of us and somehow finds it", says his "dad", played by Hugh Bonneville of TV's "Downton Abbey".

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Phoenix Buchanan, as brought to life by Grant, desperately thrives on validation; he's first seen opening up a local carnival and gets far more pleasure from reminding the mostly adoring crowd of his past than he is of essentially emceeing a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Paddington 2 even makes a few subtle jabs at Grant's past as the handsome lead in many a famous romantic comedy from the 1990s and 2000s, which should get older filmgoers chuckling.

Paddington 2 is sweet without being diabetic and endearing without being manipulative.

The film veers from enormously amusing to slightly sad, and never stops pushing the importance of family, whether it be the one consisting of the Browns and the ursine lad who lives with them or the one that lives, against their will, behind bars. Cynics will scoff, but it encapsulates Paddington 2.

Rating • PG for some action and mild rude humor.

There's a line that the CGI motion captured Paddington (voice of Ben Whishaw) often repeats in the sequel to the 2014 film: "If we're kind and polite the world will be right".

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