Monday, June 27, 2011
Mr. Popper's Penguins
When I was in the third grade, I read Mr. Popper's Penguins, and it quickly became my favorite book. If you know me, you know that I don't read, and, while I do enjoy some books, I hate being forced to read anything. I have felt this way since long before the third grade. Consequently, whenever I was given a book to read for a book report, I would just whine and cry myself to sleep. Mr. Popper's Penguins is one of the few books that I was forced to read that I actually enjoyed, but a movie about penguins is not something that I usually find myself interested in. While I didn't expect much out of the movie, I couldn't let it go unwatched by one its previous readers.
The plot held fairly true to the book. Mr. Popper inherits six penguins that he doesn't necessarily desire at first but grows to love. Rather predictable, but it is a children's book and movie so you can't expect anything too deep. The penguins do affect Popper's family, job, and everyday life in both good and bad ways. The biggest problem with the plot was how the "bad guys" were brought into the film. They didn't quite fit. It was like the entire movie stopped for a few minutes, just so we could see what the "bad guys" were plotting. There were some glitches in the plot, but nothing that kids would recognize or care about.
The penguins were filled with excitement and left me with many laughs. Being in a theater with a bunch of small children, it was easy for me to hear that the children reacted to the goofy things that the penguins did. Along with the penguins being fun, they did a good job of limiting their time in the movie. I think the kids would have liked to see more of the penguins, but I liked how the focus of the story remained on Popper and his family. Jim Carrey wasn't quite as goofy as he usually is, which kind of disappointed me, but he was still good. As I said earlier, the "bad guys" were certainly lacking, but kids don't know that.
Overall, Mr. Popper's Penguins was much better than expected. I didn't enjoy it as much as the book, but I thought it provided many laughs and a good storyline for both kids and adults. I do wish Jim Carrey would have been a bit more Jim Carrey-like, but oh well. Of course there were a few extremely unlikely scenarios that Popper was placed in that probably could have been avoided if the movie makers would have chosen to, but kids don't give a crap about that. Finally, I give Mr. Popper's Penguins 2.73 out of 5 stars, making it one of the better surprises of the summer. If I was a parent, I would definitely go watch this movie with my kids.