Mary Poppins Returns Reviews
This sequel would live or die based upon the performance and casting of its recognizable character. Emily Blunt proves to be an excellent fit for the magical caregiver, albeit a tad bit more vain and prickly than the Julie Andrews version. Supposedly this was because Blunt opted to take it in direction more akin to the novel version originated by P.L. Travers. This is one of those broad PR statements that's hard to prove one way or another, and I suspect this defense was created in hindsight. Either way she kills it with the charm and sharp wit one would expect. (Btw Emily Blunt is actually REALLY good in the few action movies she's been in. I don't know why Hollywood has not made her action star.) The interplay she has with the children is quaint and you feel some of that old Disney magic in many of their fantastic interludes. It was nice to see hand-drawn animation for one of the more memorable sequences, though some of the CGI used in others was a bit...umm terrible. The musical numbers themselves are...decent but not exceptional or ones that you'll be singing years later. The famous songs from the original were scored and written by the Sherman Brothers, who were masters of their craft. There's simply no comparison between the two.
There are numerous supporting characters and a lot of cameos to be had. Lin Manuel-Miranda really shines and he fills in nicely for Dick Van Dyke. Emily Mortimer is quite lively and charming, while Ben Whishaw carries a lot of the dramatic work of the film. Meanwhile Colin Firth is a little TOO good as a slimy villain. Overall, Mary Poppins Returns is a fine family outing and has the right magic to pull off the impossible. That being said, WE DON'T NEED ANYMORE. This was FINE. In Russian Roulette you can get two clicks and survive. It doesn't mean you get THREE. And yeah that analogy was pretty dark for a review of a Disney movie. Don't lie. That's why you read my reviews.
A little context if you find my opinion harsh. A) I love musicals and B) I love the original Mary Poppins. In my opinion, this movie failed in both respects.
I was flabbergasted to find this movie had such high reviews on rotten tomatoes. I'd heard from a friend that they basically just redid the scenes from the original movie. (And boy was she right). However, it's called "Mary Poppins Returns" so I was expecting them to use more original material from one of P.L. Traverse's many other Mary Poppins sequels.
There were so many good ones to choose from!
Mary Poppins Comes Back
Mary Poppins Opens the Door
Mary Poppins in the Park
The Gingerbread Shop
Mr. Wigg's Birthday Party
Mary Poppins From A-Z
Mary Poppins in the Kitchen
Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane
Mary Poppins and the House Next Door
I've read the the first 4 books in the series and all of them are unique and special. The imagination is what sets The Mary Poppins series apart from other books. While Mary Poppins herself sees little character development, you get to see a different side of her in each story. I felt like this movie just rehashed all the qualities we already know about her...but not as well as the original!
Nevertheless I loved the original for what it was. You can't beat Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins. Then you have Dick Van Dyke. So much great musical talent packed into one movie. The movie doesn't capture the wistfulness of the books entirely, but they at least it captures the creativity and imagination of the original Mary Poppins book.
Then you have this movie. Which barely tries to be original or do anything new! Instead they take each scene from the movie and basically create a mediocre version of it.
There was no energy in this movie! Musicals require lots of paunch and pizazz and ENERGY. Where the heck was the enthusiasm? I felt like it just dragged on and on. The most energy in the entire movie was when 91-year-old Dick Van Dyke entered and busted out the snazziest little number of the entire film. Unfortunately, that magic lasted about 3 minutes then it was back to the lackluster performances of the rest of the cast.
It was like they tried to recreate the original movie which has that often cheesy/over-the-top Broadway quality to it. However, they failed to bring it over-the-top. There was no charisma to this movie. Musicals need charisma, energy, and expressiveness to pull off the sorts of cheesy lines they contain.
Also, WHY are Jane and Michael the adults in this one? They tried to fit them into the mother and father roles of the previous move and it didn't fit. The lines were awkward and were delivered awkwardly. The only one who did a decent job was the actress who played Mary Poppins. Everyone else was...wooden in their portrayals. I think this is mainly due to the fact that there's little conflict driving this movie. They try to mimic the old story, but they do it poorly. In my opinion, the creators should have scrapped trying to mimic the original movie and gone in a completely new direction.
All their attempts at recreating the magical, spectacularly colorful dance scenes fell flat. The music was a poor shadow of the original songs, and so unmemorable I literally can't remember any of them.
Then you have Linuel Miranda, he's a Broadway star, right? The only place he shone was in a scene where he was rap/singing a song. Otherwise, he just did not cut it as Bert's replacement.
Then you have these "lamplighters" or something whose job is to light streetlamps. I don't understand why the city needed so many of them. It's not like it's that tedious or difficult to turn a light on and off. Those chimney sweeps though, that was a hard job. Replacing them with these lamplighters seemed a little pathetic to me.
I simply don't know when was the last time I saw something so boring. What am I missing? What did everyone else see in this that I couldn't? THEY BUTCHERED MARY POPPINS for crying out loud. This is a crime against humanity. Honestly.
Disney needs to stop creating sequels. It just keeps getting worse, and goodness knows when it will end. What happened to think up something new? That's what Disney was known for. He took fairytales and turned them into something unique and new. Where is that creative spirit?