Mary Poppins Returns is still in cinemas with Emily Blunt hamming it up on screen as the world’s most famous fictional nanny. But bar her performance along with some of her co-stars, there’s not really much going on for this sequel, which arrives more than 50 years after the original.
The first few minutes of the film confirms that this is nothing more than a cash grab for Disney, to piggy back on the lucrative year-end holiday season. However, their gamble didn’t exactly pay off as Mary Poppins Returns didn’t really deliver the box-office returns that Disney was hoping for with a worldwide total of USD290 million.
Sure, that amount isn’t bad, but it pales in comparison with the success films like Aquaman had during the Christmas break. However midway through Mary Poppins Returns and any viewer can surmise that Disney is playing the long game with this film, likely to spin it off into a stage musical sometime down the road.
That really lies the problem with the film as it goes from one musical score to another, desperately filling the gaps in the film with outlandish song sequences. Unfortunately, all of them are somewhat forgettable except the truly catchy, ‘Trip A Light Fantastic’. In terms of plotline, the story picks up 25 years after the original film with the magical nanny returning to help the Banks children in the wake of a tragedy.
To be honest it was a challenge getting through this film, especially considering its run time of over two hours. There are a few bright sparks though, chief of which is Dick Van Dyke’s cameo and the appearance of Angela Lansbury but everything else is but a bore and a chore.
Despite better production values, and effects, Mary Poppins Returns comes off as an over manufactured musical that tries very hard to measure up to the original. Unfortunately it comes up short at every turn.
Popcorn Review: Stale