Paddington 2 (2018)
(PG) 103 mins

There are certain films that it’s hard to put a finger on why precisely they’re so enjoyable. (‘Pacific Rim’ comes to mind.) They’re quite simply fun, and there’s no other way to describe it. They’re typically quick-paced, light, and frequently quite funny.

And that’s really all I can say about ‘Paddington 2.’ Yes, its target audience is children, but it doesn’t completely kowtow to them. There’s a certain tone that it hits out of the park: it’s silly enough that we don’t take it too seriously, but serious enough to understand the stakes to the characters. In fact, one of the characters perfectly embodies this aspect (though they all do to a degree): Phoenix Buchanan, the film’s villain (Hugh Grant). The character is completely ridiculous; his ultimate goal is to self-produce a one-man show on the West End of London. He, well, acts as if he’s the best actor in the universe. But he’s also cunning enough to stay a step ahead of Paddington throughout the film. He’s just fun to watch. As is everyone else in the Paddington universe.

+4