MARY Poppins Returns is a pleasant family movie. I wanted to love it, but it proved disappointing.
It was diverting, agreeable, nice even. Worth a watch, sure, but it felt little more than a rehash. If I’m honest, it lacked sparkle, imagination and spontaneity.
It also left me with a strange sense of déjà vu.
If nostalgia is what you are after, you have come to the right place, as it is laid on thick and heavy.
However, ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ is bereft of the charm and magic that gushed from the original movie. A spoonful of sugar does not help this medicine go down.
Imitation may be a form of flattery. But Oasis was not The Beatles. Lady Gaga not fit to stand in David Bowie’s mighty shadow. And Emily Blunt, as talented as she may be, is no Julie Andrews.
Actually, Blunt is outperformed from the off here by Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack the lamplighter. Even the songs are no match to those from the 1964 musical, with the wonderful exceptions of ‘Underneath a Lovely London Sky’ and ‘The Place Where Lost Things Go’.
The whole thing is just too safe, too uninspired and brings nothing new to this much-loved nanny’s fantastical tale to warrant a sequel. The most heart-warming scene, in a purely devious moment of Disney sentimentality, comes in the shape of a special cameo appearance from Dick Van Dyke, which brings a tear to the eye.
Overall, this is a pleasant but rather forgettable return for Mary Poppins.
A nice tribute to the original but little else.