FYI: Because our film critic only watches movies available on Red Box, his reviews of theatrically released films are based solely on hackneyed troupes made popular by Hollywood filmmakers, and thus any plot spoilers are mere coincidence (there are no spoilers).
1. Meryl Streep's Performance Creates a New Category for the Oscars
Meryl Streep is a Hollywood institution (wait that phrase can't be right...) Meryl Streep is a Hollywood actress (that's it!). Her work in film over the past couple of decades has inspired the American public and up until recently, has been awarded every honor the industry has to give. What makes Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again (MAGA) so good, is that it provides Meryl Streep with a new possibility of uplifting the world. An anonymous source in the Academy informed me that her performance was so powerful that the Oscars have created a new category specifically for her: The Best Oscars Speech. It’s already been decided that this year Meryl will win Best Actress for MAGA, give an outstanding acceptance speech, and then later on in the night she will be awarded the Best Oscars Speech for said speech, making history and giving her another opportunity to move us with her acceptance speech. Over the course of these speeches, she will undoubtedly make a brave stand on behalf of all the unfortunate masses who are not Meryl Streep. What a class act (sorry, act-ress)!
2. James Bond
One of the most interesting elements of MAGA is the incorporation of classic film character James Bond into the story. Played once again by Pierce Brosnan (in a tremendous return to form after that hulking bore Daniel Craig's quip-less, gadgetless, and underwhelming attempt at 007) it's a brilliant stroke of cinematic universe building and cross promotional entertainment. In this film, 007 goes undercover as “Sam” a mild-mannered man vacationing in Greece pretending to be the father of the previous film’s heroine, Sophie. The fun of James Bond in MAGA, is that we see something never before seen in 007 films: Young Bond! Bronsan expertly handles older Bond, but we are also treated to flashbacks of younger 007 played by newcomer (I think? I’ve never seen him in anything) Jeremy Irvine. It was a blast to see 007 deep undercover in MAGA and I can’t wait to see how they incorporate this film’s storyline into the next Bond film (even though it’s rumored to be made with that dummy Daniel Craig again)
Greece is a small country in the Mediterranean that has contributed so much to modern culture -- from the food they’ve stolen from Turkey to their religions, philosophy, politics, and architecture ultimately overshadowed by the Romans. On a personal note, my roommate is from Greece and although he chainsmokes cigarettes and claims that the Turkish coffee he drinks is actually “Greek coffee”, he’s overall a pretty good guy. MAGA does what so few films have the courage to do, which is portray Greece as it actually is: not very Greek. The filmmakers chose not to shoot on one of the many available Greek islands and contribute the struggling local economies made irrelevant by the EU, but instead in nearby Croatia, faking it as Greece -- one of the most Greek things they could possibly do. Furthermore, in order to properly pay tribute to Greek culture, the filmmakers wisely chose to use only Swedish music and white English-speaking American actors (but more on that in #5). It’s all Greek to me!
4. A Musical that Succeeds Without Needing Music
Of all the human inventions, music is probably the least interesting. Organizing sound for an extended period of time is one of the biggest wastes of our true potential and is sure to be only a passing fad, looked down upon by our descendants. The more enlightened among us have already begun to change our cultural tastes: Instead of braindead listening, we prefer to watch Twitch streams, or participate in group-shaming campaigns on social media. I consider myself an expert on music and not needing it, ever since Mother wrote a note excusing me from participating in Mr. Yorgey’s pointless 3rd grade music class (Being able to play a recorder or recognize sounds has never affected my life -- in fact I’m doing so much better without. Mr. Yorgey on the other hand? He’s retired and subsidizing his social security checks by parking cars at the GM dealership in town. What a loser!). This is why MAGA is so great, because it limits the amount of music that we have to hear! It’s one of the rare almost-musicless musicals. Audiences will agree that the scenes in between the limited song and dance numbers are definitely the most exhilarating.
5. It Stands up to Political Ideologues
I’m no fan of politics. My idea of the political process is you go down to the town hall and ask each candidate which one of them is liar, and whichever one says yes, you know you can trust them. That being said, I appreciate a film that has the courage to stand up to political radicals and reactionaries on both sides of the aisle, which MAGA does in many ways. First, in response to the radical PC culture that demands diversity in entertainment, the filmmakers have the audacity to make the whitest film of all time (surpassing the previous whitest film of all time “Mamma Mia”). After starring in such a whitewash, Meryl Streep is also expected to champion the white working class, the so-called “deplorables” in her Best Oscar Speech speech. But MAGA is no right wing love-fest -- it also calls out President Trump’s administration. The couple seconds worth of music used in the film all comes from Swedish band ABBA. Sweden, a country known for its socialist government and marxist-utilitarian-furniture provider IKEA -- two things Trump hates (especially IKEA) . Also, considering their historically contentious relationship with Russia, it’s very telling that the filmmakers use Swedish music in a film released the very same week that Trump praises Russian president Vladimir Putin. PC thugs and President Trump: 0. Film fans: 1.
Overall Review: 5.0 Best Movie Ever!
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