Pierce Brosnan won’t be silenced.
The man whose startling singing in 2008’s Mamma Mia movie saw New York magazine compare him to a “braying donkey” cranks out the old pipes again in the movie’s sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
And as he tells it, running through a doleful solo version of S.O.S. (a Knowing Me, Knowing You duet was left on the cutting room floor) was nothing short of a labour of love.
“I believe the world is ready to hear me sing again,” he told USA Today.
“I love to sing. People don’t necessarily employ me for my singing. But I chose to sing.”
The movie’s director Ol Parker recalled that when he got the take he wanted of Brosnan singing, the actor said, “‘That was something, wasn’t it?’ I said, ‘Pierce, it was wonderful’.”
Audiences can judge for themselves, in an awful, fabulous movie that proves something ABBA fans have always known: Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus have a song for literally – literally – every occasion, emotion or significant life event.
If ABBA can’t say it, it probably can’t be said.
And then there’s Cher being … Cher.
She swoops into the final scenes in a helicopter reminiscent of the cover of Arrival, a seminal image that sparked dreams of squeezing into the back seat between Agnetha and Frida for a scenic flight over Stockholm.
As bad grandma, she punches out a few sizzling one-liners, makes Fernando sound like If I Could Turn Back Time and just about steals the show.
Light on story, huge on kitschy colour-and-movement and starring a cast of Hollywood heavy hitters dancing in formation, Mamma Mia! The Movie was the perfect 2008 night out.
Against a backdrop of stunning Aegean vistas and irresistible ABBA tunes, it raked in a whopping $600 million at the box office. The only surprise about the sequel is that it took so long to make.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again reunites the original cast for ouzos on the terrace and the inevitable OTT version of Dancing Queen.
It circles around the original story in which Meryl Streep plays the singing, dancing, power drill-wielding Donna, a single mum and owner of a rundown hotel on a Greek island.
In the original, Donna’s daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) invited three of Donna’s exes to her wedding in an awkward game of father roulette, knowing only one was qualified to walk her down the aisle.
The sequel begins with a shock (no spoilers here) but recovers as Sophie puts the anxious finishing touches on her styled-up hotel ready for its relaunch.
The action sashays between flashbacks of a young Donna’s daring romantic adventures with her three boyfriends and to the impending arrival of Sophie’s baby.
It’s not all orange groves and whitewashed cottages, though. This time around, there’s a little shade to temper the eternal Grecian sunshine.
The relationship between Sophie and Donna warms the movie’s heart but it’s the glittery performances of a highly capable support cast that come to the rescue of the delightfully clunky plot so that most – if not all – is forgiven.
Christine Baranski is deliciously predatory and Julie Walters cute as a button as Donna’s long-time besties, and Andy Garcia plays the island’s mystery man with stagy, twinkly-eyed charm.
But of course, the winners take it all. Benny and Bjorn, thank you for the music.