Early reviews for 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' are in.
When jukebox musical 'Mamma Mia!' first hit theaters in 2008, of course it was going to divide opinion. News of 'Mamma Mia 2', then, had haters assuming the worst, but in actual fact the film seems to have endeared a great many sceptics this time round.
The cast of 'Mamma Mia 2'
Combining one of the greatest pop acts of all time with a cheesy story of romance, comedy and family values, 'Mamma Mia!' was certainly not for everyone. Given it's light-hearted fun and endless stream of the greatest hits from ABBA, it unsurprisingly won numerous awards, and it looks like the same destiny could lie before 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again'.
At the very least, it's won over a fair few of the earliest viewers. The Daily Mail enjoyed the whole show, describing it as 'slicker than the original' and 'utterly glorious', if slightly critical of Pierce Brosnan and Julie Walters' singing.
The Telegraph awarded it four out of five stars, insisting that it's 'consistently funny, always amiably at its own expense', and confessed that it was the corny ridiculousness that made the whole thing 'relentlessly uplifting'.
The Guardian gave the film three stars, citing it 'weirdly irresistible' despite its 'plotless melange of feelgoodery', and the Independent followed suit, though warned potentional audiences: 'If you don't like Abba, spandex or glitter, you won't much enjoy the 'Mamma Mia' sequel.'
Maybe it's a British thing, though. The charm didn't seem to work on IndieWire, who lamented that Meryl Streep's 'absence is keenly felt' and claimed that her performance kept the original film afloat in the first place.
'Ultimately, throwing the same people in the same place with little to do and even less time to do it is emblematic of the sins of far worse, much less worthy sequels', they concluded. 'Without Streep there to tie it altogether, well, it just doesn't sing.'
Meanwhile the Hollywood Reporter were just as unenthusiastic about this 'adequate' sequel, largely due to the music. It's true that after the original took up the vast majority of the ABBA hits, little was left over for 'Mamma Mia 2'; and that didn't sit well with this publication.
'The movie's biggest failing is that so much of its soundtrack, the very engine that propels it, is made up of far too many... lesser-known tunes from the back catalogue of Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus', they wrote.
Still, the return of Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgård meant that anyone who enjoyed the original loved the sequel just as much, and nobody could criticise new cast additions like Cher as Sophie's grandmother and Lily James as Young Donna.
'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' hits theatres in the UK on Friday (July 20th 2018).