"Mary Poppins Returns" Movie Review

Updated on May 14, 2019
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Poppins Returns | Source

It’s been a long 54 years since Julie Andrews floated down from the clouds as Mary Poppins (LBJ was president, The Beatles were singing “A Hard Day’s Night”, milk was under a buck, etc.), which begs the question, “Do we really need to go back to Cherry Tree Lane?” Unsurprisingly, Disney thinks we do, so along comes Mary Poppins Returns, a better-than-average movie on its own, but a pale comparison to the original. And it’s a comparison that’s all too easy to make, as the sequel shadows the 1964 film in almost every way (and, no, not in the “practically perfect” sense).

Director Rob Marshall (Chicago, Into the Woods) injects plenty of life into the film, filling it with characters and costumes that stand out brilliantly against the backdrop of a moody, foggy London, but the overall tone is decidedly more serious. And though there isn’t a single musical number that will linger in your brain any longer than it takes to walk out of the theater, the tunes are pleasing enough, including the “Jolly Holiday” fill-in “A Cover is Not the Book” and the chimney-sweep ditty “Trip a Little Light Fantastic”, which attempts to fill the “Step in Time” slot.

Lest we get ahead of ourselves, the story begins on adult siblings Jane (Emily Mortimer) and Michael (a too-serious Ben Winshaw) Banks, all grown up from their days as kids in the original film. As Michael’s wife has just passed, Jane has moved in to help rear her brother’s three kids. A knock on the door reveals lawyers with the news that Michael has defaulted on a loan and has only five days to pay it back, or he risks losing his Cherry Tree Lane home.

Fortunately, there’s a breeze blowing, and Mary (Emily Blunt) descends from the heavens with her valise and umbrella just in time to help set things right. And of course, there’s a chimney sweep to also lend a hand, in the person of Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda), who we’re told was an apprentice of Dick Van Dyke’s Bert in the original film.

The Banks clan heads to the old Fidelity Fiduciary Bank to sort out the issue, but kindly bank manager (Colin Firth) is revealed to be an underhanded snake, eager to get his hands on the Banks home. Oh, that he will get his comeuppance by the end of the film!

Meanwhile, Mary and the kids are off exploring a magical undersea world (after falling through the bottom of their bathtub) and then wind up with Jack in the hand-animated land inside the decorative design on the bowl the kids accidentally ding. Eventually, of course, the loan deadline approaches, and it’s up to Mary, all the sweeps in London, and a little Disney magic to save the day.

The best parts of the film, of course, are the ones that harken back to the original, including a priceless cameo from Van Dyke (who, yes, busts out a little soft shoe), the reprise of several characters (including the cannon-firing neighbor Admiral Boom and the family maid Ellen), and even a callback to the famous “Feed the Birds” number.

All in all, Mary Poppins Returns is a pleasing enough jaunt back to pre-war London. It may get a little too serious in parts and ridiculously goofy in others, but there’s certainly nothing here that will make you want to gag yourself on that spoonful of sugar.

Rating

3.5/5 stars

'Mary Poppins Returns' trailer

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)