‘Paddington 2’ defies January’s pattern and provides a wonderful family movie

By MARK VIOLA

The live-action of “Paddington” was one of the biggest surprises of 2014, at least in terms of movies. It was truly so much better than it had any right being. Since its release in January 2015, I can safely divide the world population into two groups. First, those who have seen “Paddington” and know just how good it really is. And second, those who have not seen “Paddington” and therefore cannot believe how good it really is.

I give January a lot of grief, and much of that is richly deserved, since the month is typically a dumping ground of castoff movies that studios hope will at least make a few bucks before heading to home video, or simply disappear before becoming a line-item on some tax form write-off.

“Paddington” was one of those rare exceptions, and now it’s sequel, “Paddington 2,” is another. But this film isn’t simply a good January movie. It’s not even just a good movie without the qualifier. No, amazingly, this is a genuinely great film, and a sequel that all others should strive to emulate, honoring the original both in quality and in tone, while telling its own story that feels like a logical next step in the lives of its characters.

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