This story contains a mild spoiler for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
Hollywood is, at its very heart, an industry that exists to answer questions. For example, I’ve long wondered what it might look like if Cher and Andy García, resplendent in linen, marched toward each other at a snail’s pace singing ABBA’s classic hit “Fernando” as fireworks exploded around them. Now, with Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, the sequel to everyone’s favorite 2008 jukebox musical, I have my answer—it looks magnificent. There are few who could argue that the first Mamma Mia! really needed a follow-up; after all, it used almost all of the best ABBA songs. So, to justify Here We Go Again’s existence, there’s Cher and García singing “Fernando” to each other. I say that’s enough.
To summarize the (surprisingly knotty) plot of Here We Go Again I must also dispense a spoiler, one the film reveals in its opening moments but that has been coyly dodged in the marketing. Donna Sheridan (Meryl Streep), the footloose and fancy-free hotelier of the first movie, has died (the manner of her death is unspecified, so I’m assuming a jet-ski accident, or perhaps she was devoured by sharks). To honor her memory, her daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) has refurbished the Greek island getaway that her mom used to operate; the film’s spectacle revolves around that grand opening, and, in flashback, the story of young Donna (Lily James) chancing across the island for the very first time.