Screen

Film review: ‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins’

Image
Didn’t Dick Van Dyke do this in ‘Mary Poppins’? Jim Carrey dances with the penguins in ‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins’.

The Details

Mr. Popper's Penguins
Two stars
Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, Madeline Carroll, Maxwell Perry Cotton
Directed by Mark Waters
Rated PG
Beyond the Weekly
Official Movie Site
IMDb: Mr. Popper's Penguins

It takes just 14 minutes for a penguin to defecate on Mr. Popper (Jim Carrey) in the loosely adapted film version of the classic children’s novel Mr. Popper’s Penguins, and just six minutes for it to happen again. The rate of penguin poop jokes is actually a model of restraint compared to some movies aimed at children, but it doesn’t help Penguins from being a formulaic family comedy with little to offer other than prepackaged life lessons and Carrey going through the motions of lame slapstick and a half-hearted catch phrase (“Yabsolutely”). His Mr. Popper is your standard movie dad who neglects his kids in favor of soulless business, and inheriting a sextet of penguins teaches him about the importance of blah blah blah. The penguins are more irritating than cute, and the kid-friendly humor falls just as flat as the handful of jokes aimed at keeping adults awake.

Share

Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

Get more Josh Bell

Previous Discussion:

  • Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller play brothers who’ve been messed up in different ways by their overbearing, narcissistic father (Dustin Hoffman).

  • The entire arc of Marshall’s life probably deserves a lengthier and more sophisticated treatment, but this minor episode still makes for an appealing primer.

  • A spoiled sorority girl relives the day of her own murder multiple times.

  • Get More Film Stories
Top of Story