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'Mamma Mia!' sequel keeps love of musicals alive

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By Reggie Ponder

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

I am glad to know that movie musicals live on.

Specifically, our family saw “Mamma Mia! — Here We Go Again” this past weekend, and I enjoyed it as much as anything I have seen in a long time.

A full decade after the first “Mamma Mia!” movie, members of the original cast are back, along with some newcomers and an incredible turn by Cher.

If anyone doubts what an enormous talent Cher is, they shouldn’t.

The movie benefits from beautiful scenery. Although it very much appears to be shot in Greece, apparently the actual location is an island off the coast of Croatia.

These “Mamma Mia!” movies tell a touching story, but ultimately it’s all about the music and the over-the-top musical numbers with choreography that makes the most of the panoramic sets and stunning coastal scenery.

I believe you could enjoy this sequel even if you didn’t see the original movie, but you won’t appreciate all the details without having seen the 2008 “Mamma Mia!”

Some critics and fans have lamented the very limited role that Meryl Streep plays in the sequel. While I agree that she was superb in the first movie and could have added a lot to this one, having her involved in a more limited way opens up a lot of space for the other actors.

And it’s all about the music in the end. Cher’s performance of Fernando is excellent and I’ve never seen anything like the “Super Trouper” finale with Cher and the rest of the cast.

I have liked “Super Trouper” since it was recorded by Abba in 1980 and I have liked Cher since before that.

The best thing about the finale is that it not only is a great version of the song but it’s a perfect larger than life movie musical number.

As long as movie musicals keep delivering finales like this one the genre will never die.

I’m glad Cher is still at it after all these years.

I’m glad the sequel to “Mamma Mia!” finally made it to the screen.

I’m glad the sequel was not a disappointment.

Will there be a third “Mamma Mia!” movie? I’m not sure.

Should there be one?

That question is a bit harder. If it can be as watchable and fun as this one was, then sure.

On the other hand it would be terrible to dampen the legacy of the “Mamma Mia!” movies with a badly wrought “Mamma Mia! 3.”

So I guess it remains to be seen: Can the magic happen a third time?

And if it can happen, will it happen?

I’ll stay tuned.

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