I was chatting with my sister recently and I asked her if she had been checking out my blog. She responded that she likes comedies and I don’t do any comedy posts. I retorted with my Spaceballs post but she was not having it.
So after that unnecessarily long preamble here is my quick review of family comedy Mr Popper’s Penguins (2011) with some mild spoilers.
At First Slice
The film, loosely based on the eponymous 1938 children’s book, tells the story of Thomas Popper (funny man Jim Carrey), a divorced real estate agent trying to reconnect with his children. Popper’s life is thrown into disarray when he receives a gift from his late world traveling father – a gentoo penguin.
Mr Popper’s Penguins is a pretty fun family film and will be delightful for the kiddies. Carrey is in full goofy mode and the penguins are adorable.
There are wild and ridiculous sequences like Popper turning his apartment into an ice house and the penguins zipping around an art show. I enjoyed the character of Pippi and her preposterous penchant for “p” alliteration and Clark Gregg is a hoot as the villainous zookeeper.
This movie seems to be Liar Liar (1997) – my favorite Carrey comedy and among my favorite all time comedies – with a different premise but with a bit less heart and a lot less wit. We have the same story of a workaholic father becoming a better man through extraordinary experiences (swap inability to lie with awfully CGI penguins), bonding with children and reuniting with his divorced wife.
There are some laughs to be had but many jokes miss the mark and there is an over reliance of penguin slapstick and poop humour. Overall Carrey seems to be trying too hard and he seems to have lost some of the mojo he had in the ’90s.
Final Slice – 2.5/4 pooping penguins
So have you seen Mr Popper’s Penguins? What did you think of it? And what’s your favorite Jim Carrey comedy? Feel free to comment below.