Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mr. Popper's Penguins (2011) Review:

Hollywood should know by now that Jim Carrey is his own actor and should not be set aside in a movie if he is the main character. I explained this before in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995). In the Ace Ventura sequel, Carrey kept the character the same except he was exposed to a factor that made him not as funny as the original. That factor was another character of importance in the story line. The screenwriters should have thought twice about that move because the sequel ended up more than half as comical as the first. That's what's done wrong in this film.

These roles should be reversed!
Jim Carrey plays Mr. Popper, a man with an abandoned childhood who never got to see his father often because he was out exploring things. So he grows up to be a stinky father, or ex-father I should say, who really doesn't have any friends. He doesn't know how to communicate with his children and it's rough trying to please his ex-wife. It's not until he has a penguin delivered to his apartment; none other than from his father, what a surprise. It's funny because in the beginning of the film, although the viewer will be able to tell that Mr. Popper is a troubled man, it is funny to see him try to convince his clients. It's what Carrey's known for, making us laugh because HE is the thing that makes us laugh.

Right when the penguins start showing up on screen, things don't totally go downhill, but they do slump below the Carrey entertainment meter. Why? Because Carrey is then used as a tool for the penguins and not the penguins themselves. Seriously, who thought of the poop jokes in this film? How childish could this get? That was one element I despised. Yes, it is cute and adorable to see little tiny waddling penguins shooting out on ice sculptures and riding down streams of water but Jim Carrey can do that too (The Cable Guy (1996)). And something like that only occurs around the end of the film. This film isn't totally bad but its the screenplay doesn't allow Carrey to be physically funny enough.

Mr. Popper's troubled family life....
What I did enjoy about this film was how the movie played out. Mr. Popper is a sad individual. He does his work only to please his bosses and to make a living. But when the penguins come into his life, things turn around for him, and who doesn't love a happy ending. The penguins reunite him and his family: he can get along with his children and his ex-wife falls in love with him again. The only other thing I wanted to point was what happened to Mrs. Popper's date? He was on screen a couple times and then he all of a sudden, he disappears. Okay,...what happened? Besides this little faux pas and what I explained before, I was satisfied by this average Jim Carrey vehicle. The music was nice but nothing special either.

Jim Carrey has his funny moments but once again instead of being the one to make the audience laugh at someone/thing else, he's the butt end of the joke (pun intended). It's a cute story and has a nice finish but the end result is less than real comedic entertainment from Jim Carrey because we know he's done better in other films.

Points Earned --> 7:10

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