Friday 5 August 2011

"Mr. Popper's Penguins" (Scotsman 05/08/11)

Mr. Popper’s Penguins (PG) ***
Directed by: Mark Waters
Starring: Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, Angela Lansbury

After last week’s preponderance of perfunctory pre-teen multiplex product, this peculiarly pleasing picture provides a lesson in how to do a kids’ film without patronising your preferred patrons, or those paying for them to take a peek. Mark Waters, a proven master of peppy projects (Mean Girls, Freaky Friday), proposes Jim Carrey as the eponymous Popper, a divorced father-of-two on the point of procuring a partnership at his Manhattan property enterprise when he takes receipt of his late papa’s nest eggs: six honking, pooping Gentoo penguins, prone to pecking apart his posh apartment.

Perching in the background are the same problems of paternity that underpinned Waters’ The Spiderwick Chronicles – not for nothing is the hero’s name a homonym – but it’s propelled along by perky performers, pulling out pithy quips whenever the plot prepares to lapse into sap. It’s perhaps a pity these penguins should primarily be pixelated, and deployed as part of a very conventional parenting paradigm. Still, PC parents should be placated by an anti-zoo agenda, and it p-p-p-picks up extra points for the perversity of putting out something this snow-bound in August. Vanilla Ice over the closing credits? That’s pretty much perfect.

Mr. Popper's Penguins is on nationwide release.

1 comment:

  1. I was afraid that the egg was going to be stepped on when the board of directors came over and started traipsing all over the place. I never wanted an egg to hatch so badly as when I saw this movie. I don’t understand why one egg would allow Mr. Popper to give up the penguins though that was confusing and should have been explained a bit more. I love Jim Carrey and would love to get to see more of his earlier work and recently I was able to find a great way to do that. When I found out from a colleague at Dish Network that we acquired Blockbuster and that a lot had changed making it not just easier but adding tons of titles and ways of getting movies I was thrilled. Kiosks and no late fees or due dates are the big ones for me but tons of titles so having to watch a movie twice would not even be a remotely possible option. I love film always will, I do not care how I get it as long as I can enjoy my escape.