'Mr. Popper's Penguins' simply generic and predictable

“Mr. Popper’s Penguins” 2/5 Pitchforks Rated: PG Staring: Jim Carrey Opening June 17

“Mr. Popper’s Penguins” is as generic and predictable as movies get. Despite its potentially funny premise, it takes no chances and results in one of the blandest comedies of the year.

The plot can essentially be summed up in a movie trailer with one of those obnoxious announcers. Jim Carrey plays Mr. Popper, a divorced businessman who’s on the verge of a big promotion at work. Everything is going his way until Mr. Popper finds out that his estranged father has passed away. Mr. Popper receives a crate from his late dad and reluctantly inherits … six Emperor Penguins. Yeah, I know it’s stupid. Just go with it.

Various slapstick antics ensue from the penguin’s arrival, making Mr. Popper’s life a living hell. Since his two children take a liking to the penguins though, Mr. Popper is left with no choice but to keep them around. In due course, the penguins help Mr. Popper to reconnect with his family and learn what’s really important in life. I hope I haven’t spoiled anything for you.

Jim Carrey, God bless him, gives it his all here. For my money though, his usual shtick hasn’t been that funny since “Bruce Almighty” in 2003. The film’s real scene-stealer is Ophelia Lovibond as Mr. Popper’s British assistant who incorporates multiple “P” words into every sentence she utters. As for the penguins, they’re all undeniably adorable. However, if I wanted to see a movie with cute penguins I would rent “March of the Penguins” or “Happy Feet.” At least the penguins in those movies didn’t constantly poop all over the place.

As you might have guessed, “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” didn’t exactly wow me. But to be fair, I’m not the target audience for the movie. If you’re under the age of ten, maybe you’ll get a kick out of seeing Jim Carrey take a soccer ball to the balls or the mere sight of penguins. The film is inoffensive and will likely make for ideal children’s entertainment. For the adults in the theater though, be prepared to consistently look at your watches.

Reach the reporter at nspake@asu.edu

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