There is one thing that really annoys me about Mary Poppins Returns, but it’s not Emily Blunt. She was fantastic. In fact, I’ve listened to the soundtrack several times and cannot believe that the same woman in A Quiet Place, Sicario, and The Devil Wears Prada is belting out tunes as good as the iconic Julie Andrews. So don’t listen to the critics. Emily Blunt is not the problem.
Neither is the music, if I’m honest. It took a while for it to grow on me and some songs will probably never be redeemed. (I’ll never forgive them for making Meryl Streep sing “Turning Turtle.”) But overall, the music is good and sometimes great. “Nowhere to go but up” is a worthy ‘brother’ to “Let’s Go Fly a Kite.” “Stepping Time” and “Trip a Little Light” can both spark that urge in you to dance. Even if you don’t enjoy the music when you walk out, give it a little bit. Do you really think people would have enjoyed “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” if it came out today?
A Tuppence Of Story Issues
The problem is the story. To start, the movie can’t decide if it wants to focus on the passing of The Banks children’s mother or on the looming doom of the Banks’ loosing their home at 17 Cherry Tree Lane. The former conflict is the most interesting one, but the movie focuses far more on the latter one. In the end, all of Mary Poppin’s efforts to stop the home loss are actually deemed useless in the story. To explain why, we need to move into spoiler territory.
SPOILERS CONTAINED BELOW THIS LINE.
The Banks’ Family home is spared when Mr. Dawes (Dick Van Dyke) explains that the Tuppence Michael Banks invested some 30+ years ago have grown into a size able pot of cash that can pay of his loan. The problem is that the first Mary Poppins produced a completely different message. In the song, “Fidelity Fiduciary Bank”, Mr. Dawes Senior (also Dick Van Dyke) says Michael can purchase “first and second trustees, think of the foreclosures!”
Michael runs away from such talk in the original film, but little did he know that he’d make a boatload of cash by investing in the bank. In fact, Michael’s house is saved because the bank foreclosed on so many other homes. Not exactly “Feed the Birds” material.
Overall, the movie is enjoyable, but my Disney fandom will not allow me to name this as a successor to Mary Poppins. As it stands now, it’s just another fun movie that is practically okay in every way.