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Looneymanthegreat's Movie Reviews (125)

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Paddington 
A Surprisingly Clever Flick
3/4 stars

Have you seen the trailers for that Paddington movie? Doesn’t it look crummy? IT looks like the Disney’s Country Bears movie if George Lucas vomited CGI all over it. The movie is kind of financially flailing domestically, and that seems at least partially due to the marketing massacre that was induced upon it. People have been avoiding it to some extent, and I can’t really blame them.

Paddington is not at all the movie that I though it was when I saw the trailers; it’s actually a legitimately funny and charming family film that is, in many ways, far superior to Disney’s latest super-popular animated efforts. If you have kids, this is almost a must-see; it’s the rare kids’ film that parents will laugh at just as much as their offspring.

What sets Paddington apart from many other so-called children’s films is the humor. There is a surprisingly clever tint to the whole thing. Jokes about insider trading, European culture and marmalade all hit surprisingly hard, and often out of left field. Sure there are plenty of slapstick and toilet jokes for the kids, but the movie finds a brilliant balance between jokes that go over kid’s heads and jokes that go under their parent’s heads.

Paddington himself is a surprisingly lovable character, and is voiced beautifully by Ben Whishaw. He’s not the only likable character in the movie either, as Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins are each incredibly hilarious and charismatic in their respective roles. In fact; there is nary an actor in the entire picture of which I did not think to myself upon leaving the theater, “I wish that actor was in more funny movies.” Nicole Kidman in particular balanced precariously on the edge of being annoying, but played her role straight enough that she instead became one of the funniest and most memorable parts of the whole endeavor.

So is Paddington really that good? Am I exaggerating a little? I don’t think so; and to put it in perspective I saw this flick right after watching best picture nominee, American Sniper, and Paddington seemed to be the better told story, and by far the more entertaining of the two. You should take your children, if you have any, to see this flick; I’d dare say your doing them a disservice by avoiding it.


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