Movie Review: Mary Poppins Returns



Starring: Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda
Directed By: Rob Marshall
Rated: PG
Runtime: 2 hours 10 minutes

          Now, to understand my review of this movie, you need to understand a little about me as a person.  I’m a male.  33 years old.  Without children.  While, yes, I have seen Mary Poppins.  I did not grow up with it as a staple in my home.  I probably haven’t seen it in 20 years.  Maybe more.  Mary Poppins Returns was not made with me in mind.  That’s OK.  Not every movie should be, although that would be a nice ego boost.

          54 years after the original Mary Poppins starring Julie Andrews (who does not appear in this movie, although she does appear in the next movie I’m reviewing tonight, Aquaman.  Go figure)  and Dick Van Dyke (he shows up and is the best part of the movie), Mary Poppins Returns casts Emily Blunt in the titular role of Mary.  In the world of Mary Poppins, she hasn’t aged a day, and that makes a lot of sense given the endless possibilities that follow Mary Poppins.

          The Banks Children are grown and about to lose their home.  Until Mary floats down on her umbrella to watch the new crop of Bankses.  Singing, 2D animation, and a whole lot of imagination follow.  Lin Manuel Miranda shows up as a lamp lighter.

          I didn’t love this movie.  Every scene seemed about five minutes too long.  Every song had one verse too many.  The movie went at a snail’s pace.  Now, for the movie’s intended audience that’s a good thing.  More moments to savor.  More time to rekindle the old friendships created with the first movie.

          I didn’t think the music was anything to write home about either.  None of the songs were catchy toe tappers like you’d expect with Lin Maunel Miranda behind it.  The genius behind Hamilton and Moana didn’t seem to have it here musically.  He’s pretty good in his on-screen role of Jack.  Emily Blunt is absolutely terrific as Mary Poppins.  Capturing the persona perfectly. 

          The final 30 minutes are the movie at its best.  But by then, I had sort of checked out.  But again, this movie wasn’t for me.  The people that this movie targets that I’ve talked to have LOVED LOVED LOVED it.  And I’m glad.  It’s a bit risky to wait 54 years to make a sequel to something.  Does this movie need to exist?  Probably not.  But if it means a new generation of kids can find the original then I’m all for it.

          Because while I thought the movie was poorly executed, I love everything it stands for.  Don’t grow up too fast.  I’ve spent my entire life actively trying to not grow up.  Look at this show.  I am allowed the honor to talk on the legacy station here in Omaha.  News Radio 1110 KFAB.  And what do I do with it?  The most childish stuff possible.  The movie’s message is simple and timeless.  Don’t ever take life too seriously.  You’ll never get out alive.

On a scale of "See It/Stream It/Skip It" -- If you haven’t seen it yet, I’m betting you’re not SUPER excited for it, so you can wait a few more months.

If you liked Mary Poppins, Bedknobs & Broomsticks, or The Sound of Music you’ll love Mary Poppins Returns.

2.5 out of 5 for Mary Poppins Returns.  Not for me, but the core audience should love returning to the fantasy world it creates.


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