IF YOU’VE WITHSTOOD the hype around the Mamma Mia musical, because you’ve instinctively recognised it for the candy floss, shameless money generating initiative that it is, don’t relent now. Mamma Mia! Here we go again, is a further foray into a schlock-redolent yarn rich with platitudes and clustered with cameo roles by the big names, to get you to buy tickets.
In short, it’s appalling rubbish, using the classic Abba songs as hooks to attempt to force you to sit through the whole thing. Loosely based on the story underpinning the original musical, it’s replete with red herrings, has the older performers giving oomph to the marketability of the work, and is such shallow eye-candy that you leave feeling cheated of your time, if not the price of your ticket. Never might you have imagined that anything billed with the name Meryl Streep or Julie Walters, would be able to earn this tagging, but oh, you’d be wrong. .
This is arguably one of Hollywood’s lowest, crassest moments this year, which sees the likes of Pierce Brosnan and Cher prostituting their presence to something not worth the celluloid it’s filmed on. This tale of wild oats sown, fortuitous pregnancies and idyllic weddings, not to mentions ghosts and christenings, the everlasting nature of college friends and the mindless freedom of the Greek isles is gob-smackingly weak. Its attempts at symmetry and character development plummet into sunshine and flowers, of a stupidly American flavour, blandly attempting to milk an idea that was not that great to start off with. Not even the humour or the pathos works. Do yourself a favour: avoid this one at all costs.
- Mamma Mia! Here we go again is directed by Ol Parker and features a cast headed by Anna Antoniades, Chrisine Baranski, Susanne Barklund, Pierce Brosnan, Cher, Dominic Cooper, Alexa Davies, Omid Djalill, Josh Dylan, Colin Firth, Andy Garcia, Jonathan Goldsmith, Anastasia Hille, Togo Igawa, Celia Imrie, Jeremy Irvine, Lily James, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Gerard Monaco, Naoko Mori, Panos Mouzourakis, Amanda Seyfried, Stellan Skarsgård, Hugh Skinner, Meryl Streep, Maria Vacratsis and Julie Walters. It is written by Ol Parker, based on a story by Richard Curtis, Catherine Johnson and Ol Parker, on the original musical by Catherine Johnson, and on the songs of Abba. Produced by Judy Craymer and Gary Goetzman, it features creative input by Benny Andersson, Anna Dudley and Björn Ulvaeus (music), Robert D Yeoman (cinematography), Peter Lambert (editing), Nina Gold (casting), Michele Clapton (costumes) and John Frankish and Alan MacDonald (production). Release date in South Africa: July 20 2018.