MARY POPPINS RETURNS (2018)

Well, it was never going to be as good as the original, was it? This long-anticipated sequel to the 1964 classic is an old-school Hollywood movie musical beginning to end, with a toe-tapping score (Marc Shaiman) and many delightful, technicolour adventures, alongside plenty of in-jokes and nostalgia for fans.

Emily Blunt is a fantastic Mary Poppins; she doesn’t have Dame Julie Andrew’s inimitable voice, or her natural sweetness, but she is filled to the brim with the magic and formidable confidence that only Mary Poppins can have. Lin Manuel Miranda plays Jack, a cheeky cockney lamplighter, with a slightly strange accent, who also likes to rap.

There are a few unforgivable sins. Meryl Streep’s character Topsy Turvy calls Mary Poppins “cousin Mary” in a song, when everyone knows that she must only be called Mary Poppins. But the most grievous sin is the implication that when young Michael gave his father tuppence in 1910 (on Mary Poppins’ advice), Mr Banks then invested it in the bank, and it’s this large amount of money, created by capitalist banking, that saves the Banks children in 1930.

And this sums up the film really; the 1964 interpretation of P. L. Travers’ series of children’s books was unashamedly commercial, but it had heart. This 2018 has sequel is unashamedly commercial and it’s about the importance of making money. Quite fun but don’t expect any real Poppins magic.

You can see Mary Poppins and her talking umbrella in IMAX.

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