Latest Entertainment News Headlines

Review: Paddington

Paddington
01.13.2015
8 10

PLOT: Thrust out of his home in darkest Peru, a young, talking bear travels to London and is adopted by the Brown family, who help him search for a long lost friend while also attempting to thwart an evil taxidermist.

REVIEW: I will admit: I have no real connection to Paddington. If I was a fan of the books when I was a child, I don't recall it. I didn't own my own Paddington, didn't see any of his cartoons. The character simply isn't "up there" with the lovable fictional figures that make up my memories of being a young boy. When I heard a movie was being made about him, my only reaction was indifference.

As we approached its release, I made it a point not to watch any trailers for PADDINGTON; not for fear of spoilers, but because I frankly had no interest. It seemed very likely to me that this would be another unfortunately modernized update of a beloved children's property, like THE SMURFS or MARMADUKE. After all, how many of these things have been bearable in the last few decades? Very few. Would Paddington rap in this one? Would he meet B-list celebrities and make cringing pop culture references that would soon be out-of-date? Probably.

Well, I'm a fool. PADDINGTON, it turns out, is an immensely charming, sweet and altogether highly enjoyable movie, lead by a lovable protagonist and rounded out with a fantastic cast of veteran performers. It doesn't contain any of the snarky asides I feared it would; it seems to have no interest in being "hip" or appealing to today's generation. In fact, there's a timelessness about it that guarantees it'll delight audiences for many years to come. You'll want to pick it up and take it home with you, much like Paddington himself.

The adults in the house needn't worry about being bored, either. The film's overall entertainment value will be enough to keep them invested, but there are plenty of sly witticisms and references that should fly right over the little ones' heads. It does contain a few substantially worrisome moments that may scare the tykes, coming at the beginning and at the end, but (spoiler alert) the film ends on such a happy note that no one will walk away traumatized.

Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw after Colin Firth ditched the role, and probably not a bad thing) lives in harmony his with his aunt and uncle in "Darkest Peru" in the film's whimsical opening passages, but not five minutes in, an earthquake destroys their home and kills the uncle (yes, this is the scary part; a child in the theater I was in immediately started crying). Paddington is sent off to London by his aunt in search of the British explorer who befriended the bears years earlier, but finding help there proves somewhat troublesome. (No one has time for a talking bear, it seems.) Fortunately for the polite young creature, he's spotted by the kindly Mrs. Brown (a delightful Sally Hawkins), who immediately takes to Paddington's sweet disposition despite the protests of her stuffy husband (Hugh Bonneville, also splendid) and her two children (Samuel Joslin and Madeleine Harris).

Paddington causes a few calamities in the house that don't necessarily help warm him up to Mr. Brown, who initially can't wait for the bear to leave, but soon enough he's burrowed his way into the hearts of the entire clan, who make it their mission to find the explorer Paddington is so desperate to reunite with. But trouble awaits: a sultry taxidermist (there's a first for everything) has her eye on the rare bear and wants to make Paddington part of her prized collection. This evil character is played with delicious intensity by Nicole Kidman, and though her nefarious tracking of the chatty animal still takes place in the same universe as the rest of the film, there's a very good chance the little ones will be thoroughly frightened of her - especially in the film's third act, when Paddington's doom seems a little too real for comfort.

Director Paul King (a veteran of British TV comedies) helms PADDINGTON with a light touch, letting the CG bear and his human cohorts command the screen while an inherent atmosphere of joy tugs the heartstrings. That's not to say the film is bereft of subtext or deeper meaning. Tolerance, immigration, our ecological footprint, the benefits of family... all messages that come across, but with subtlety and keen awareness of the audience. Bottom line: Paddington's adventure should be enough to resonate with any human being - unless you're a monster who sympathizes with the taxidermist.

While the cast is uniformly terrific (Hawkins and Bonneville are the best, and Peter Capaldi has a nice supporting turn as a nosey neighbor who becomes entangled in Kidman's schemes), Paddington is the full show here. Rendered beautifully by Framestore, the character is a marvel to behold and cherish. He may not be the most realistic CG character to ever grace the screen, but I don't think he's supposed to be; there's a slight otherworldliness about Paddington that is in keeping with the character's background in literature and TV. But he interacts wonderfully with his co-stars (not unlike Racket Raccoon, you just buy his presence from start to finish), and as a character is nobel, heroic and kind. It must be said, for those worried about Colin Firth's departure, that Whishaw's vocal stylings are absolutely dead-on, so much so that it's impossible to even imagine it being anyone else. I will listen to Paddington talk about anything.

So yes, PADDINGTON is, as they say, "fun for the whole family," but it's also moving and endearing; you'll want to watch it again immediately.

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Source: JoBlo.com

RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

5:39PM on 01/14/2015
The film was released in lots of countries for the holidays...
It's already a moderate hit with more than $122M
The film was released in lots of countries for the holidays...
It's already a moderate hit with more than $122M
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:21PM on 01/13/2015
Wow, trailer made it look awful. Now I can't wait to take my kids.
Wow, trailer made it look awful. Now I can't wait to take my kids.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+0
5:45PM on 01/13/2015

So Happy To Hear!

It is actually sad...I had forgotten about Paddington Bear and how much I loved him as a child. It wasn't until I saw the trailer and a little red hat that it all came back to me. How could I have abandoned Paddington?! I was immediately happy to see him being reintroduced to a new generation (much like the Muppets were). However, the trailer disappointed me quite a bit. It looked like all the same crap that most children's films suffer from...toilet humor and bad cgi in a live environment. I
It is actually sad...I had forgotten about Paddington Bear and how much I loved him as a child. It wasn't until I saw the trailer and a little red hat that it all came back to me. How could I have abandoned Paddington?! I was immediately happy to see him being reintroduced to a new generation (much like the Muppets were). However, the trailer disappointed me quite a bit. It looked like all the same crap that most children's films suffer from...toilet humor and bad cgi in a live environment. I also thought it was going to be another horrible film that botched my childhood (much like Smurfs and Transformers). I am so relieved to read this review and the posts from people on here. Paddington deserves to be a smart and classy film with a heart. It is now on my watch list! Thanks everyone for your positive comments on it! I had written it off until I read them!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:27PM on 01/13/2015
I was dreading this movie.When i wen`t with my nieces but i loved it.Laughed more then they did.The scene from the trailer in the bathroom is hysterically funny.Just his facial looks.
I was dreading this movie.When i wen`t with my nieces but i loved it.Laughed more then they did.The scene from the trailer in the bathroom is hysterically funny.Just his facial looks.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:49PM on 01/13/2015

Colour me impressed

Everyone on this board (and others) had written off this film when Colin Firth bailed and the initial posters came out. So it's doubly a surprise to see this movie be so good. However, considering the highly positive review, I was surprised this flick got an 8/10; I was expecting a 9/10.

Will definitely check this out.
Everyone on this board (and others) had written off this film when Colin Firth bailed and the initial posters came out. So it's doubly a surprise to see this movie be so good. However, considering the highly positive review, I was surprised this flick got an 8/10; I was expecting a 9/10.

Will definitely check this out.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:23PM on 01/13/2015
I also highly recommend this film. I had no intention of seeing it because of the trailer but I was ended up seeing it and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. The trailers make the film look dumbed down but that is not even remotely accurate.
I also highly recommend this film. I had no intention of seeing it because of the trailer but I was ended up seeing it and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. The trailers make the film look dumbed down but that is not even remotely accurate.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:27PM on 01/13/2015

I'm a Brit with no particular leanings to Paddington.

Saw this with the kids on New Years Eve and it was wonderful. Kids adored it and the Wife and I left the cinema grinning like fools.
I heartily recommend it.
Saw this with the kids on New Years Eve and it was wonderful. Kids adored it and the Wife and I left the cinema grinning like fools.
I heartily recommend it.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:05PM on 01/13/2015
I'm shocked. The previews for this... I was going to dismiss it, but 8/10... A 96% on rotten tomatoes (most likely to drop into the 80% range with more reviews, but still good)

I'm going to give this a shot. Just... Wow
I'm shocked. The previews for this... I was going to dismiss it, but 8/10... A 96% on rotten tomatoes (most likely to drop into the 80% range with more reviews, but still good)

I'm going to give this a shot. Just... Wow
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:55AM on 01/13/2015
8/10? Quite a surprise. This is actually turning out to be good.
8/10? Quite a surprise. This is actually turning out to be good.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:20AM on 01/13/2015
I gave my Paddington bear from my childhood (1970's) to my daughter a few years ago. It was rather tattered to say the least. I wonder where, that Paddington bear, has come to give his life to share. Of darkest Peru, I know aware, that he has given, a life of fair.
I gave my Paddington bear from my childhood (1970's) to my daughter a few years ago. It was rather tattered to say the least. I wonder where, that Paddington bear, has come to give his life to share. Of darkest Peru, I know aware, that he has given, a life of fair.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:14AM on 01/13/2015
This is getting surprisingly good reviews
This is getting surprisingly good reviews
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
View All Comments

Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Top
Loading...

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting