When the original Mamma Mia! movie premiered 10 years ago, it was an instant hit. The teenage me sang and danced to every ABBA song featured in the movie. So when the sequel released earlier this year, all I could think was — can they top the original?
The answer is YES! Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, which is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, not only brings back the original cast in all their glory, but also adds new cast members that make this sequel one big, irresistible treat.
The film takes place only a few years after the first one. As Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is mourning the death of her mother Donna (Meryl Streep), who passed away a year ago, she finds out she is pregnant, at the same age her mother was when she had her. She’s also working on renovating Donna’s Bed and Breakfast on the Greek island of Kalokairi. As she is struggling to work through it all, she’s also struggling in her relationship with Sky (Dominic Cooper), who is working in Manhattan.
As everyone remembers Donna, the film flashes back to 1979, when young Donna (Lily James) graduates from Oxford alongside young Tanya (Jessica Keenan Wynn) and young Rosie (Alexa Davies). Donna decides to take a break and travel to Greece, with a stop in Paris.
On her journey, she meets three young men — one of whom is Sophie’s father. She meets young Harry (Hugh Skinner) in Paris, and together they sing “Waterloo.” Partially sung live, this is a memorable number in the film. Donna then meets young Sam (Jeremy Irvine), who breaks her heart, and young Bill (Josh Dylan), a seafaring adventurer.
Donna’s friends Tanya and Rosie stop by Greece to see how she’s doing. They sing the title song and this is when you can truly tell how magnificent a singer Lily really is. She hits all the high notes in a quiet room as she pours out her heart, which is silently breaking after a betrayal. She is then joined by the other two Dynamos to complete the song as the trio belt out the classic number.
In the present, Sophie is greeted by Tanya (Christine Baranski) and Rosie (Julie Walters) and her dads Harry (Colin Firth), Sam (Pierce Brosnan) and Bill (Stellan Skarsgård). Together they perform one of my favorite songs in the film — “Dancing Queen.” They are joined by a shipload of Greek villagers and it becomes one super entertaining scene. If you thought this number from the original film was spectacular, this one outperforms it.
Bringing together such a huge and talented cast, with heavyweights like Cher, is no easy feat. Not every film with a massive A-list cast can deliver — sometimes the storyline gets lost with multiple characters. Yet, director Ol Parker and the producers made it happen, and made sure that the film is twice as electrifying as the original.
Also, even though this is a sequel, it doesn’t mean you get the same songs again. Several of the songs were not featured in the original and get you singing along, including “Andante, Andante,” “Angel Eyes” and “Fernando.”
Another one of my favorite scenes is the final number — “Super Trouper” with the entire cast and crew — you see the legacy characters dancing alongside the young characters. It’s truly a LOL moment. It’s glorious, spectacular and well, there’s Cher. ‘Nuff said.
Cher literally gives you the goosebumps the minute she appears on screen. She sings “Fernando” with charm and charisma, and all is well in Kalokairi again.
In terms of performances, Lily James takes the stage and her talent, whether she’s acting, singing or dancing, is spectacular. Having seen her past performances, I’m still in awe of her work. No other actor could have better played a young Meryl Streep. She’s a powerhouse in her own right.
Jessica Keenan Wynn’s impression of Christine Baranski is uncanny. It’s as if she stalked her and jotted down every move. You’ll see it too. As for the real Christine, she just keeps knocking it out of the park — she’s been given the best lines in the film and she delivers like a pro. You’ll know which scene when you see it.
Amanda Seyfried is a very talented performer, but she’s not given enough material in this sequel. But the one number that had everyone in tears — “My Love, My Life” — is proof that the actress is a compelling performer. This brings me to the main reason why I love the sequel; it made me laugh, and sing, and even want to jump up and dance in the theater. But it also made me cry. It got so emotional with “My Love, My Life,” you could just hear the sniffles in the room as the theater went completely silent.
This emotional roller coaster ride made the sequel a winner in my books. It was entertaining, enthralling and electrifying. So go ahead and watch and cry and sing — the songs will be engraved in your head for a while. Click here to read all about our Mamma Mia! filming locations trip in Greece. Also, watch our interviews with Lily James and Jessica Keenan Wynn, and the young dads, played by Jeremy Irvine, Josh Dylan and Hugh Skinner. ~Marriska Fernandes
Click here to buy the Blu-ray.
The Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Sing-Along Edition, which also includes the theatrical version, has a feast for ABBA lovers on the Blu-ray, DVD and Digital copy. Bonus features include:
Deleted song scenes: There are two songs that are quite a treat: “I Wonder” and “Tahini.”
Enhanced sing-along features: One of my favorite features: “Thank You for the Music,” “When I Kissed the Teacher,” ” Waterloo,” “Andante, Andante,” “The Name of the Game,” “Mamma Mia,” “Dancing Queen,” “I’ve Been Waiting For You,” “Fernando,” “Super Trouper,” “One of Us,” “S.O.S.,” “I Have a Dream,” “Kisses of Fire,” “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” “Angel Eyes,” “Why Did It Have To Be Me?” and “My Love, My Life.”
Extended song scenes: “The Name of the Game” and “Knowing Me, Knowing You”
The Story: Producer Judy Craymer talks about the start of Mamma Mia! and how the sequel came to be.
Mamma Mia! Reunited: The filmmakers discuss reuniting the original characters.
Playing Donna: A feature on Meryl Streep’s cameo performance and how Lily prepped to play the younger Donna.
Meeting Cher: Cher discusses joining the sequel while the cast talks about what it was like meeting her.
Costumes and The Dynamos: Costume designer Michelle Clapton talks about the outfits in the film.
Curtain Call: Director Ol Parker talks about the sequel’s closing scene with “Super Trouper.”
NBC’s TODAY interview: Cher and Judy Craymer.
Feature Commentaries: Ol Parker and Judy Craymer.
Tanya Meets Tanya: Jessica Keenan Wynn interviews Christine Baranski about playing Tanya.
Rosie Meets Rosie: Alexa Davies interviews Julie Walters.
Dynamo Chit-Chat: A conversation between the three Young Dynamos reflecting on their on-set experiences.
Dad Chat: Stellan, Pierce and Colin talk about their favorite memories from set.
Sophie’s Story: A look at how Sophie has evolved.
Choreographing Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again: Choreographer Anthony Van Laast and his team discuss the dance routines.
Dancing Queen: Anatomy of a Scene: Ol Parker discusses “Dancing Queen.”
Class of ’79: This fun featurette focuses on the Young Dynamos and the young dads as they reveal their experience with the fashion of 1979.