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% 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% with the addition of a review from Film Authority’s Eddie Harrison. Interestingly, Citizen Kane similarly lost its 100% 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 Wishaw 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 “over-confident, 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.