In 20th Century Fox’s newest release to DVD, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Jim Carrey plays a successful businessman who has lost sight of what really matters in life. He looks like the man who has everything but it is what is missing in his life that encourages his eccentric father to send him not one, but six live penguins from Antarctica. Now with the help of Captain, Lovey, Bitey, Nimrod, Loudy, and Stinky, Thomas Popper will try and rediscover what life is really all about. From the minute the penguins arrive in Popper’s life they turn it upside down.
Thomas Popper works for a real estate firm and he has his eye on becoming a partner. Before he can do that he must successfully negotiate the sale of Tavern on the Green restaurant. The only problem is that the current owner of the restaurant, the amazing Angela Lansbury, will not sell to just anybody. While trying to negotiate the sale, the penguins arrive at Popper’s apartment. Popper is currently separated from his wife, played by Carla Gugino, and he gets weekend visits with his kids. Even the kids think Popper has lost touch with the important things in life. Now Popper has to continue his work, keep the apartment board from knowing about his new pets, win back the trust of his family, and find a new home for the six penguins.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a family friendly movie that the kids will enjoy. It is a comedy full of fowl hi-jinks as the penguins wreak havoc on Popper’s life. This movie is filled with lots of slapstick comedy, which Jim Carrey is famous for, but I had the feeling that I wanted to see more. A lot of the jokes are classic Carrey fodder from his past movies and Mr. Popper’s Penguins goes through the motions but comes up empty in the end. Watching Jim Carrey run a foul with half a dozen waterfowl could be a great comedy for kids that the whole family could enjoy, but instead it is a predictable romp that has its moments. Carrey undoubtedly has comedic charisma and an endearing off the wall way about him that we have seen in great movies such as Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Truman Show, and The Mask, but it seems to be missing from Mr. Popper’s Penguins. I found more enjoyment in reading the children’s book from the 1930s and perhaps the movie would have been better if it stayed true to the book. Mr. Popper’s Penguins is an ideal candidate for the rental store or better yet wait until it is shown on cable, but save your money for a Jim Carrey classic and you will get a lot more bang for your buck.
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