Mary Poppins Returns Film Review

Who would have thought I would be doing a Mary Poppins Returns film review in 2018? It’s been 54 years since the release of the original film. And as you would expect with a sequel to one of the most well loved family films of all time, there will be many views. Therefore before we start lets get it straight. When you’ve watched a film or parts of it for the last 50 christmases a sequel is never going to live up to that. It’s like being introduced to your new step mum. You’ll never love her in the same way, but it doesn’t mean she’s not a good person. Hopefully she’s a welcome addition to the family.

Let’s set the scene

From the opening credits you can see the respect for the original. The artwork, the sets and the feel are in true Poppins style. And the old house that Jane and Michael Banks grew up in is so familiar it instantly makes you feel at home. Michael now lives there with his 3 children, but times are hard and we arrive at a time when they may lose the much loved house . Who could save the family from their unfortunate circumstance? Cue Mary Poppins! Once everyone’s favourite nanny arrives, the usual absurdities ensue and the life lessons begin.

What’s the Verdict?

The film is good and the formula of the original has been followed well to create this new adventure. Set pieces are lovely with the lamp lighters (Leerie’s) nod to the chimney sweeps being my favourite. But does it have the wow factor of ‘Step in Time’? For me I would have to say no. I found myself waiting for an original song. Even if only 1 verse and chorus, but it never came. What a shame! The Sherman brothers music made the original film but in today’s market with juggernauts like ‘The Greatest Showman’ I don’t think the music in this film is quite where it needs to be. That said, maybe I need a few Christmas days to learn the lyrics.

Apart from that the acting was great. Emily Blunt doing an incredible job of keeping the character we know so well, true to form. Only in one song did I feel Mary wouldn’t have done that, but it didn’t spoil things. Lin Manuel Miranda did the best he could with the famous bad cockney accent embodied by Van Dyke. Emily Mortimer really felt like an older Jane Banks. But I must give a special mention to Julie Walters who played Ellen the batty old house keeper. She was faultless.

Overall Mary Poppins Returns was an entertaining movie, and a fun look/reminder of characters we know and love. It’s definitely worth a watch but don’t go expecting it to be in the same league as the 1964 version. You can’t recreate a perfect storm.

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