By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
With “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” Jim Carrey aims his considerable comedic talents at kids.
He plays Mr. Popper, a hard-charging, smooth-talking executive, who’s estranged from his children (Madeline Carroll and Maxwell Perry Cotton) and ex-wife (Carla Gugino).
When his father dies, Mr. Popper inherits six penguins. Carrey’s rubbery face delivers a variety of exotically annoyed expressions, as the penguins turn his pristine apartment into their playground.
The penguins take their toll on his work life, and there’s a chance he could get kicked out of his swanky apartment, but their arrival has an upside. The kids love the penguins, and his ex-wife loves the way Mr. Popper is learning to relate to the kids.
All is not well, though. A pushy zoo employee (Clark Gregg) really wants those penguins. Plus, life with cold-loving, semi-aquatic waterfowl requires Mr. Popper to adjust far more than the thermostat.
Let me add that my wife and I enjoyed the part of Pippi, played with perfect precision and propriety by Ophelia Lovibond. As Mr. Popper’s assistant, Pippi speaks with as many “Ps” as possible, and she’s pretty funny.
Our kids loved this film. They enjoyed the computer-generated antics of the penguins, and appreciated Carrey’s gift for slapstick comedy.
I was a tougher audience. The penguins are a nice touch, but a lot of these types of movies have been made over the years. “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” follows a predictable script, and every plot point is telegraphed from miles away.
Again, I’m not the target audience. It’s clearly a film for kids, and my children didn’t mind the clichés.
I give “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” a C plus. It’s showing at Malcos in Tupelo, Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, as well as Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville and Movie Reel 4 in New Albany.
Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.
– Kelli Karlson with Wizard 106.7 gives “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” a B plus.
“I think it’s a great time for the whole family.”