Knowing Paddington, he’d probably just nod and treat himself to some more delicious marmalade, but we’re ready to bear-knuckle brawl in defense of that tiny Peruvian sweetheart and his even tinier coat. That was our first reaction, anyway, to finding out that Paddington 2 has lost its perfect 100 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, three and a half years past the film’s initial theatrical release in the United Kingdom, after the site factored in a less-than-glowing review.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paddington 2’s critical score slipped to a measly 99 percent with the addition of a review from Film Authority’s Eddie Harrison. Interestingly, Citizen Kane similarly lost its 100 percent rating last month following the discovery of a negative 1941 review. This change inspired debate, as it placed Paddington 2 at the pinnacle of cinematic achievement (or, at the very least, at the top of the heap of well-reviewed films) until now.
“I reviewed Paddington 2 negatively for BBC radio on release in 2017, and on multiple occasions after that, and I stand by every word of my criticism,” writes Harrison, per THR. And in case you’re thinking, “Okay, so he gave Paddington 2 a B- or some such. That’s not so bad,” in the grand tradition of the great critic Jay Sherman, he actually thinks Paddington 2 stinks.
“Paddington is voiced by Ben Whishaw and sounds like a member of some indie-pop band coming down from an agonizing ketamine high, and that’s just the start of what’s wrong in Paul King’s film,” he writes, finding the film’s version of Paddington “overconfident, snide, and sullen,” to name just a few flaws. Declares Harrison, “This is not my Paddington Bear, but a sinister, malevolent imposter who should be shot into space, or nuked from space at the first opportunity.” How dare … actually, you know what? If “Paddington gets shot into space” isn’t a perfect Paddington 3 plot, we’ll eat his little hat. Hey, it worked for F9.