It's been almost ten years since Meryl Streep-starring 'Mamma Mia' opened in the theaters wooing fans with breathtaking scenes of a Greek island, foot-tapping numbers and an absolutely riveting narrative about the mother-daughter duo, Donna (Streep) and Sophie (Amanda Seyfried).
Cut to 2018 and an equally promising sequel, 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' is about to waltz into the theaters, with buzz about part 2 of the musical already getting fans all excited for some summer frolic. Joining the original cast in the Ol Parker directed 'Mamma Mia 2' is a mix of actors some new faces and some old ones including Cher, Lily James, Christine Baranski and Julie Walters.
As Sophie and her extended family revisit the Greek island of Kalokairi and along with that her mother's memories - a plethora of experiences will unfold, officially in the theaters this July 20.
But before that, here's a round-up of the reviews and what the critics have to say:
"Something in the sheer relentless silliness and uncompromising ridiculousness of this, combined with a new flavor of self-aware comedy, made me smile in spite of myself: there are funny, campy performances from Cher, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters and also Alexa Davies as Walters’s younger self, and some very good lines," writes Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian.
"People are always running absurdly around a Greek island waving their arms in the air like they just don’t care and it’s always sunny, except when – gasp! – there’s a storm and plans for the relaunch of a tourist hotel are briefly and unimportantly derailed. This film reminded me weirdly in its staging of Kenneth Branagh‘s 90s film version of Much Ado About Nothing, with its golden southern European hues and beaming cast. There’s the same bizarre plot convolutions and holiday-romance departure from reality."
Wesley Morris of New York Times writes, "It takes about 90 minutes to get here. Because, in part, the movie, which Ol Parker wrote and directed, has to thumb-twiddle with a plot involving the grand reopening of Donna’s villa by her daughter, Sophie, who’s still played with a damsel’s distress by Amanda Seyfried. Oh, the stress. Will any of her three fathers — Stellan Skarsgard, Colin Firth and Mr. Brosnan — show up? Will her boyfriend, Sky (Dominic Cooper), or her mother’s best friends (Julie Walters and Christine Baranski, lascivious as ever)? And what about that catastrophic storm from the first movie? Yes, yes, yes, and yes — but it’s a pitiful cinematic event, especially compared with Hurricane Cher."
"The Mamma Mia movies — yes, there are two now, and don’t you forget it — might be the epitome of blue-sky cinema. The first one was based on the hit musical (which was itself based on a rosé fever dream of an ABBA Greatest Hits collection,) but transposing its simultaneously libertine and trippily conservative storyline to film form, it didn’t merely feel like a West End import," Emily Yoshida, Vulture wrote.
"The postcard-perfect Greek isles location and plethora of respected actors sporting their holiday tans hailed from very specific kind of light viewing bubble. Here We Go Again replicates that exact same feeling ten years and one or several economic collapses later, a feeling only revved up by the almost complete absence of Meryl Streep and the addition of Cher."
Washington Post's Kristen Page-Kirby adds, "The screenplay — written by Ol Parker, who also directs — fails everyone. James tries her best to bring Streep’s original spirit into her performance, but the only reason we know that her version of Donna is quirky is that she wears a floppy hat, has mysterious access to unlimited financial resources and has a personality that verges on obnoxious. Every complication is cliche, every resolution predictable."
"Everything old is shockingly, stirringly new again in “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” the rare sequel so unexpectedly enchanting that it plays less like a rehash than a reclamation. It may take you a moment to understand why, or how, this could be the case. The title alone feels like a winking admission that, as with nearly every Hollywood cash cow that suddenly fancies itself a franchise, we’re basically in store for more of the same," Justin Chang from LATimes wrote.