5.5/10 I re-watched the original 1964 “Mary Poppins” before viewing this since I hadn’t seen it since I was a child. It holds up very well and the soundtrack and performances are iconic for good reason. So I was rather excited for this follow up coming so many years later and seeing Emily Blunt step into Julie Andrew’s shoes. It is such a shame at how disappointing this follow up is after all these years of waiting. The biggest problem with this movie is that it, beat for beat, basically rips off the original “Mary Poppins”. If you watch the two movies back to back you will see how this movie follows extremely close to the original in terms of specific plot points, when songs happen and when the animated scene kicks in. This movie decides to settle upon nostalgia and copying the original instead of making something clever and new in the same universe. The soundtrack is also a huge letdown compared to how incredible the original film’s soundtrack was. The best song from this movie (and also one of the shortest and most heartfelt) is “A Conversation” and not the other, more mainstream songs getting all the attention like “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” or “The Place Where Lost Things Go”. One of the worst songs and scenes in this movie is the scene with Meryl Streep doing a horrible accent and performing a garbage song. I know she is one of the best living actresses but she can’t sing so after “Into the Woods” and now this, I continue to be baffled as to why Hollywood keeps putting her into musicals unnecessarily. As far as the cast goes, Emily Blunt does the best she can do with the material given to her but she never quite captures the magic that Julie Andrews had as Mary Poppins. The animated scene (like in the original) goes on a little bit too long but is inventive and pleasing to the eye. The production design is very impressive in this movie but I had issues with some of the costume designs. The main family is poor and struggling to pay their mortgage yet their children are dressed in the most colorful, fashionably expensive clothes that look they like are straight out of the song “By the Sea” from “Sweeney Todd”. The villain in this movie you can also see coming from a mile away and feels over the top and rather lazy. All that being said, the cinematography is lush, the color palette is refreshing, the acting is on point and this is a feel good movie that entertains and puts a smile on your face. It is just a shame that Mary Poppins couldn’t have pulled out a more inventive script and better songs from her magical bag.
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