REVIEW: Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Loosely based upon the children’s book of the same name by Richard & Florence Atwater in 1938, it took approximately 73 years for the release of the feature film. However, despite the very long awaited release and as cute and as child-friendly as it seemed to begin with, there were immediate impressions that it would have its fair share of clichés and corny concepts that wouldn’t make it one to remember. Having said that there were neither high nor low expectations for Mr. Popper’s Penguins, it was simply just going into a film that may have had its weaknesses but it was just a bit of fun that was worth your time.

Quite frankly, any film involving relationships and personal bonds between humans and small animals is incredibly cute and appealing for children, but considering that this does just this for its target audience, Mr. Popper’s Penguins is severely wounded for its obvious predictability and the pacing of the film was occasionally slow at times. It begins satisfying but when the penguins came into the equation, the pacing of the film gradually got slower and it became something that was rather dry and at times, rather empty. There are a few funny laughs in the film that added charm and an easy-going nature to the film.

The films from director Mark Waters have been considered as popular public favourites over the years from the likes of Mean Girls, Freaky Friday and The Spiderwick Chronicles. However, now that he has provided us with his latest feature film, Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a film that is genuinely easy enough for Waters to make as it features the colourful and enlightening tone with friendly and funny aspects, such as the penguins watching Charlie Chaplin films. However, he provides us with a more visual approach to the film that attempts to aid the film from falling into disaster. Admittedly, the script was rather corny that consists of on-going gags and occasionally continues almost needlessly, but it occasionally shows the wackiness of Jim Carrey at his absolute best.

Having provided two divided sides to his acting ability by giving absolutely hilarious and wild performances and then really serious and emotional ones over the years, Jim Carrey stars in a role that proves almost instantly that he is almost like a fill-in slot for the film by avoiding a disastrous critical response. In fact, it is almost like a very balanced role that leans towards neither a performance to remember nor one that leans him into a disaster, although Carrey has had his fair share of hits and misses over the years. In all honesty, if you’re an avid Jim Carrey fan especially from his films in the 1990s, you’ll get quite a bit of enjoyment out of this one and this film really would have been a disaster and not funny or delightful in the slightest if he hadn’t been in this film. Veteran actress Angela Lansbury added a bit more sophistication and became a treat to the film as she stars in only her third film in 10 years and delivers a decent performance.

As far as the penguins are concerned, you will not be able to resist them and will fall in love with them very quickly or you will truly despise them. The six penguins named Captain (the leader), Loudy (nosiest one), Bitey (the most nibbling one), Stinky (the one who’s prone to flatulence), Lovey (friendly and cuddly) and Nimrod (the clumsiest one) and each of their different personalities have their similar natures with the seven dwarfs in the classic tale of Snow White. They each are one on their own and do heart and soul as they each bond with Mr. Popper rather quickly and become a great deal to him. The only major problem with the six penguins is that it alters and toys with the facts about their nature, and there are certain moments that are almost laughable to witness (i.e. playing in the park in the snow with them and nobody’s around). Nevertheless, they are adorable characters that will put a grin on their viewer’s faces.

Overall, Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a very corny film with many flaws, but it is also a very cute and fun film to watch that will leave you feel a bit warmer inside at the end. To be honest, it needs to just be appreciated for what it is and it’s nothing to take seriously. Although it’s a film that really could have been a lot better, at the same time could have been a lot worse. So, it makes itself worthy as a warm and entertaining enough film that is a decent recommendation for families to just sit down and enjoy.

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~ by SJMJ91 on 15/05/2012.

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