Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mr. Popper's Penguins - Movie Review

Jim Carrey is Popper, son of Captain Popper the adventurer, who does not have much time for his son as he is always traveling on his adventures. But before he dies, the senior Popper sends his son a unique gift, a penguin. I never understood the reason why the senior Popper thought penguins were ideal pets in New York, but he has been out of civilization for so long that he probably can be excused. Junior Popper is some kind of a con man real estate agent who cons people into parting from their real estate using some techniques that are hard to follow and believe. He also has an assistant who talks like a penguin or some such creature. The penguins arrival marks a new twist in his life.

First hing that happens after the arrival of the penguin is that Popper's separated wife and kids find the idea of a penguin as a birthday gift for his son cute and there are hints of a family reunion. Secondly the penguin gets five more friends, sent by the senior Popper's crew, and the apartment is turned into a miniature version of Antarctica. All this activity gets junior Popper to lose focus on a big real estate deal and lose his job. Job or family? Head or heart? Penguins or deal? Deal or restaurant with childhood memories? These are the dilemmas faced by Popper.

Popper thinks he has his family back - or so he thinks - but things change when the penguins are taken away by the wicked zoo keeper. But Popper tells his children that they will now get their penguins back and in a dramatic attack on the zoo, the penguins are rescued. Captain penguin flies, hatches an egg and all sorts of things happen. Finally the penguins are returned to their home in Antarctica.

Not funny (unless you laugh at the way penguins walk  or at Carrey's faces). Not convincing. Loose screenplay. Perhaps they took on too much with the penguins. Or depended too much on them. Or did not know who the hero was - Carrey or the penguins. It was just too predictable right till the end - the family drama, the penguin drama and the job drama. Left me feeling cold.

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