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Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Mr. Popper’s Penguins: Average Family Comedy

  • Angela LansburyCarla Gugino...
  • ComedyFamily
  • Mark Waters
reviewed by
Omar Atef
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Mr. Popper’s Penguins: Average Family Comedy

Successful
realtor Thomas Popper (Carrey) struggles with his responsibilities as a parent
on account of his own father, an explorer, being absent throughout his childhood. Today, Thomas is just about to
close in on a major deal in buying a famous old restaurant owned by Mrs. Van
Gundy (Lansbury), and he’ll stop at nothing to achieve it.

However, when his father
suddenly dies, Thomas discovers that he’s inherited six penguins. So in between
raising the unwanted penguins, trying to win back his ex-wife (Gugino) and
being a better father, Popper is left with little time to clinch the business
deal and nail the promotion that he desperately wants.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins has a storyline that will entertain
younger audiences, even if it’s a little too predictable for adults.
The film’s comic relief is often in many toilet humour scenes that kids will find appealing. The fact still remains, though, that this a family film
and has a decent story to tell for everyone. It’s like a different version of
Ben Stiller’s Night at the Museum,
only here there are only penguins.

A mixture of CGI and real penguins were used
for the film, and there’s been a big effort carried out in delivering as
realistic a portrayal of penguins as possible. Director Mark Water has done well in focusing
on their facial expressions and traits in order to differentiate the penguins’ individual
characters. Unfortunately, though; there is at times a slight but noticable awkwardness in the interactions in some
of the scenes between the actors and both the real and CGI penguins.

Carrey
seems to be miscast, and his trademark wacky humour is stifled instead for a
more restrained performance. Why cast the comic rubber-faced genius if you
won’t use his hilarious antics? Gugino is a good though predictable fit for the
suffering love interest, given that she played almost the exact same role in Night at the Museum. The exciting
and surprising cameo appearance is by legendary actress Angela Lansbury, who
plays her role with a perfect harmony of comic relief and elegance. 

Though
it adds absolutely nothing new to the table, Mr Popper’s Penguins is nonetheless funny; it’s not Jim Carrey’s
worst film, but it’s definitely not one of his best. It’s the perfect family
film and is guaranteed to bring in the laughs if you’re looking for a film
that’s suitable for young kids.

Like This? Try

Night at the Museum, March of the Penguins, Jumanji

360 Tip

Mr. Popper's Penguins is based on the 1938 book of the same name. Husband and wife Richard and Florence Atwater co-wrote it.

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