There is a moment in one of the bonus features on the Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Blu-ray where director Ol Parker remarks about the difficulty of making sequels. Parker states that majority of sequels feel like cash grabs, which is something he wanted to avoid with this film.
Unfortunately, he does not quite succeed in that regard.
As a film, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again wants to cash in on the success of its predecessor without offering anything new to the overall story. Everything feels like it is just travelling down the same road, including the reusing of several hit songs featured in the original, with a few new faces along for the ride. The first film focused on Sophie’s (Amanda Seyfried) quest trying to figure out which of her mother’s, Donna (Meryl Streep), three ex-lovers (Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgård and Colin Firth) is her real father. This time around Sophie tries to navigate her own challenges reopening her mother’s Hotel Bella Donna, while learning life lessons from Donna’s past.
Of course, these lessons coincide with a young Donna (Lily James) meeting and falling for the three men (younger versions played by Hugh Skinner, Josh Dylan and Jeremy Irvine). As much as Parker’s film aims to be about a daughter finally understanding just how strong her mother really was, the script feels like it was simply designed to get the viewer from one song to the next. The casting of Andy Garcia as Fernando and Cher as Sophies grandmother, despite the actress only being a few years older than Streep, is further proof of this as neither has much to do in the film.
While it can be argued that one does not go into a Mamma Mia! film for the plot, the film lacks the overall energy and charm that made the 2008 original such a success.
Fortunately for the hardcore fans of the series, the Sing-Along Edition of the film, which arrived on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital combo pack today courtesy of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, is overflowing with bonus content. Those looking for a karaoke night experience at home will enjoy the Enhanced Sing-Alongs feature. Those looking for more insight into the behind the scenes aspects will enjoy “The Story”, which focuses on how producer Judy Craymer brought Mamma Mia! to both the stage and the big screen.
Though the bonus content is reason enough for checking out Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again on Blu-ray; the film itself is not much to sing about.
• Deleted/Extended Songs and Scenes with Commentary by Director/Screenplay Writer Ol Parker
• Enhanced Sing-Alongs
• Cast Meets Cast
• Cast Chats
• High Jinks
• Sophie’s Story
• Choreographing MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN
• Dancing Queen: Anatomy of a Scene
• Performing for Legends
• Class of ’79
• Playing Donna
• Meeting Cher
• Costumes and The Dynamos
• Curtain Call
• NBC’s TODAY Show Interview with Cher & Judy Craymer