Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Mr Popper's Penguins Review

Yes, I saw it.  Stop snickering.  I actually wanted to see it when I first heard of it because it looked like a fun little diversion during which I could turn my brain off.  Sometimes, you just have to go see a cute little feel good movie that doesn't make you think.  That's all this movie is and it doesn't try to be anything else.  It is little more than a retelling of Liar, Liar.  Jim Carrey plays a jerk of a father who, through an extraordinary situation, learns a valuable life lesson.  That's it.  Most of the movie is very thin.  While there is a plot, it moves a bit choppy.  There are conflicts that never get fully resolved and character development and changes that seem to happen out of the blue.

But it needs to be that way because it is a kids movie.  Everything about this movie is aimed at the children.  They go out of their way to not swear at all and to keep it G rated.  When taken in that context, it is very good.  Everything moves fast enough and the penguins' cute little antics are well spaced to keep the kids happy and entertained.  The theatre was almost sold out tonight and there were tons of kids there.  I heard very little of the kids being fidgety and bored.  That makes it a good kids movie.  In this way, it was better than Zookeeper even though I enjoyed that one more.  But Zookeeper is more for grown ups and, in spite of my juvenile behaviour, I am a grown up.  The one "beef" I have about keeping it a kids movie is that they go through all that trouble to make it appropriate and then, for the end credits, they play Vanilla Ice's Ice Ice Baby which is actually quite a violent song (pay attention to the lyrics).  But that really is minor.  Who's going to watch the credits?

Technically, this one is pretty 50-50.  While he was entertaining and decent, you could tell Carrey wasn't giving this one his all.  He was much better in Liar, Liar and The Truman Show (two movies I would recommend and will review next time I watch them).  The rest of the acting was average.  Not bad but not great either.  Where this movie really shines, technically, is with the penguins.  The CGI effects are very well done there.  The music keeps it pretty light all the way through with that stereotypical Danny Elfman-esque score that is used in feelgood movies.

If you are looking for a good diversion for your kids that will entertain you as well, see it.  Also see it if you feel a little down and need a fun little pick-me-up (that was my situation tonight).  It is definitely worth it.  Delay seeing it if you want anything with depth.  There is none.

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