4 STARS (out of 5)
MAMMA MIA! Here We Go Again (2018)
PG-13 | 1h 54min | Comedy , Musical , Romance | 20 July 2018 (USA)
DIRECTOR: Ol Parker
WRITERS: Ol Parker, Richard Curtis
CAST: Lily James, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Andy Garcia, Julie Walters, Cher, Christine Baranski, Meryl Streep.
SYNOPSIS: Five years after the events of Mamma Mia! (2008), Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) prepares for the grand reopening of the Hotel Bella Donna as she learns more about her now deceased mother's (Donna's) past.
REVIEW: Terrific romp with great music and performances.
The script is a bit clunky at first by gets the kinks out by the second act.
A flashback storyline follows the young Donna's (Lily James) original journey to Greece 25 years earlier and how she met her 3 suitors: Sam, Bill and Harry.
The introduction of new characters and plenty of lesser-known ABBA songs help make this 2nd visit very worthwhile.
As with any ABBA-themed project this film vacillates from nostalgia to regret, to triumph. Handling these segues is a bit contrived but If you've already bought into the ABBA agenda you won't really care. Others might hate it.
ABBA's oeuvre is so complex that it can invoke heartache and longing or inject one with invincible hope. If you don't believe me go back and watch "Muriel's Wedding" (1994) and try not to smile despite Muriel's painful life story.
Get the popcorn and the Kleenex.