Director – Paul King (Bunny and the Bull)
Cast – Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Nicole Kidman, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, (voices of) Ben Whishaw, Michael Gambon, Imedla Staunton
Plot – The story of loveable young bear Paddington (Whishaw) and his journey from the wilds to the streets of London where he is adopted by the Brown family, that is led by Henry (Bonneville) and Mary (Hawkins).
“I’ll never be like other people, but that’s alright, because I’m a bear”
Review by Eddie on 17/04/2015
There is certainly a whole lot of blood, guts and all things in between on this blog, I mean what else would you expect when the two authors are glorified man children (and Amiibo hunters)? So with that, it’s refreshing to sit back, relax and take in the unsullied delights of such a light and breezy piece of entertainment in the form of the easy to like Paddington.
I’m sure we’ve all seen or been fans of Paddington at some stage in our life and it’s great to see him come to life in such a vivid and often in inventive fashion and much of this life comes from the energy infused direction of Mighty Boosh alumni Paul King, the wonderful CGI work of the animated bear and a great voice job by Brit Ben Whishaw as the titular marmalade loving lad. You get the feeling that there will be an abundance of children and those young at heart that will fall in love with this updated incarnation of Michael Bond’s character and it’s a credit to the film that they make him feel so alive. The human actors in the piece also do a fine job although it’d be wrong to say any outmatch the non-real Paddington in a story that sadly is the films major weak point.
While it would be wrong to suggest that I or anyone else for that matter head into this film expecting some form of life changing narrative, the central plot devices and foils that drive the centre of this tale are sadly very far from original in a film that in many other respects creates its own beat and marches to it. Kids don’t need narrative stimulation to keep them engaged and there’s enough colour and gags here to keep them glued to their seats but adults here may struggle to stay engaged in an arc that seems better suited to a short film rather than a feature length experience. If Paddington had come up with a truly unique or exciting story it really would’ve transcended into something quite spectacular.
Paddington is an enjoyable experience and one of the better mouldings of real life actors and CGI that we’ve seen in some time yet it’s also a hollow experience that doesn’t emotionally engage on the level that other more classic family tales have done. It’s an absolute winner for those aged 10 or under and I’m sure long-time fans of the bear will be hugely impressed with what is a fun and breezy adventure.
3 misused toothbrushes out of 5