Thursday 8 December 2011

Today's Review: Mr. Popper's Penguins

It's another kids' movie, yay! But since my mind has been scarred by Zookeeper and The Smurfs, I wasn't sure I was ready for another mental beating. But I watched anyway.

Jim Carrey is back in a comedy role as Mr. Popper, a man who inherits some penguin buddies from his recently deceased father. As he struggles to accept the penguins into his life, he must also learn to work on the relationships he has with his ex-wife and kids. Blah blah, lovey dovey, predictable.

Yet, despite the generic storyline, I actually quite enjoyed this movie. Maybe it's because I grew up watching Jim Carrey prance around in The Mask and Ace Ventura, but there was something about seeing him take on a nice family comedy role after all these years that brought out the child in me. Another nice thing is that it didn't rely at all on pop culture references. There were no 80s rock songs blasting from cars, no obnoxious product placement, this is just a funny family movie about a guy who suddenly gets penguins, and chaos ensues.

I haven't read the original book, so I can'y say how outraged I would have been at how it's different, but the book was written in the 1930s, so a faithful adaptation would probably be even weirder. There are some nice touches thrown into this movie though, in particular Mr. Popper's assistant who unknowingly uses as many words beginning with "p" as she can when she speaks. Jim Carrey brings all his old trademarks into the fray too, with some weird voices and slapstick thrown in, but it's never over the top, and he's really aged well, so the whole movie just has the feel that family movies used to.

Mr. Popper's Penguins was a nice change from the obnoxious family movies I've grown used to. This isn't a movie about selling as much stuff as possible, or being ridiculously over the top, it's just a fun movie that can appeal to anyone who watches it if they just let the child within them out for a while.

My rating: 4/5

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