After ten long years, the musical joy of Mamma Mia! has returned to the big screen with Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, and all in all, the sequel may actually be better than the original. Though it did not have nearly as much of Meryl Streep, who was the true star of the first movie, it still managed to geniusly hold onto the essence that made the first movie so enjoyable, telling the story of Donna Sheridan in an even more interesting way without even needing her Oscar winning actress there for the duration of the movie.
The biggest factor that made Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again such a fantastic sequel was how it was written. The original Mamma Mia! was originally written for the stage, which frankly took a bit away from the movie's quality. While the movie was still good, many fans still prefered the Broadway version more, simply because it was initially written for Broadway. On the other hand, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was written for the screen, and because of that became much better.
While stage performances are great, they aren't able to portray the little things the way that movies can. The sequel had something that the original Mamma Mia did not: subtly. The subtle manner of storytelling using in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again managed to draw connections between Sophie and Donna from their different time periods without resorting to cliche Broadway techniques. Additionally, the script was able to explore more locations around the world other than just Donna's island, as a movie is allowed to have numerous more sets than a Broadway musical. This space also helped to improve the choreography, turning the performance of "Dancing Queen" into one of the highlights of the movie, with the dancing taking place on the island and on a number of ferries.
Additionally, the Godfather II style of storytelling was rather well done. A number of other movies have attempted to mimic this dual storytelling style in the past, but Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again may be the best movie to replicate it. The first half of the sequel put an emphasis of Donna's story in 1979, and the second half of the movie emphasized the modern day struggle of Sophie. While the connection between the two stories was rather vague towards the beginning, it gradually became more vivid as the movie went on. The conclusion of the modern day story cleverly managed to serve as the perfect conclusion to the 1979 story without even needing to show how the 1979 story actually ended.
The storytelling elements, the fun music and the incredible performances by the entire cast made Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again into a truly fantastic sequel. Whereas the first movie touched the surface of Donna's mysterious past, this sequel further expanded her character, and in doing so, further expanded nearly every other character in this impressive sequel from Universal Pictures. All things considered, if you liked the original Mamma Mia!, you are sure to love Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.