“Mary Poppins Returns” Movie Review

Samantha Zakrzewski, Writer/Editor

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The opening scene is 1930’s London during the “Great Slump.” The Banks children, Michael and Jane (Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer), have grown up. Jane works to improve the lives of the working class and Michael is a widowed father of three children- Annabel (Pixie Davies), John (Nathanael Saleh), and George (Joel Dawson). As if Michael doesn’t have enough on his plate, his house is in jeopardy of being repossessed by the bank.

Michael and Jane (Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer)

Just like in the original 1964 film, when the Banks children are in trouble, they need not worry- they can count on Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) to float down from the sky and aid them in their problems.

“Mary Poppins Returns” was an energetic, fun-filled sequel that brought a lot of nostalgia to the fans of the original movie. As someone who hasn’t seen the original, I felt that they gave enough background information to understand the movie premise- when she’s needed most, Mary Poppins comes down from up above to offer her help.

Upon her arrival, Mary Poppins begins to bring order to the chaotic household. She begins by getting the children ready for a bath. After expressing their apprehension, Poppins convinces the children to go into the bathtub and they all descend down into what appears to be every child’s dream bath- there are life size bubbles, bath ducks, water pails, dolphins, and other sea creatures.

Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins.

Emily Blunt does an outstanding job portraying Mary Poppins. Her demeanour is exactly as I’d have pictured that of Mary Poppins. From the moment she strides across the field towards the Banks children, it’s clear that she was destined for this iconic role. Even the minor details, such as her facial expressions and enunciation, are accounted for.

© FameFlynet.uk.com
Lin-Manuel as Miranda, a lamplighter.

As for the rest of the all star cast, they did a wonderful job as well. Colin Firth deserves praise for his depiction of William Wilkins, the movie’s antagonist, as he does a remarkable job portraying someone that you can’t help but despise. Wilkins is the bank president who pretends to help Michael, while he secretly works to get Michael’s house repossessed. And who can forget about the iconic Lin-Manuel Miranda who plays Jack, a light hearted lamplighter. Miranda does quite a fantastic job with his musical numbers and acting. As always, Meryl Streep also put on a great performance, as she played Topsy, Poppins’ Eastern European cousin. Streep even had an eccentric musical number that brought smiles to all that watched.

Meryl Streep as Topsy

Despite the terrific performances from the cast, the movie itself was a bit of a bore. There were certain parts of the movie where I struggled to keep my eyes open. For example, the premise itself was a bit lame. As I mentioned before, Michael is widowed with three children and has money issues. He must search for the bank statement which was left to him by his father as it is the only thing that could save them from losing their house. Although the majority of children’s movies have predictable endings, the problem with “Mary Poppins Returns” is the way that the story is carried out. There’s no denying it’s bright and wacky musical numbers add a lot of energy to the film, but a few of the scenes seem to drag out to the point where you find yourself prying your eyes open so that you don’t fall asleep. One scene in particular was the one where they sang “Trip a Little Light Fantastic.” Don’t get me wrong, I found the song catchy, cheery, and enjoyable- during the first three minutes. But after seven long minutes, I was grateful for the song to have been done.  

Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda), Annabel (Pixie Davies), George (Joel Dawson), John (Nathanael Saleh), and Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt)

For all of the die hard Mary Poppins fans, this movie is obviously for you. However, if you were planning on seeing this movie because of the all star cast and exuberant trailer, do yourself a favor and save your money. Personally, I find this movie to be one that you watch when it comes out on demand as it is good, but not a must see. However, if you do ever come across “Mary Poppins Returns,” then definitely watch it. After all, Mary Poppins is an iconic character that will never be forgotten.