Decades after the events of the original film, Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) lives peacefully with his three children. One day, a pair of men inform Banks that his house will be repossessed soon if he does not find out a way to come up with the sufficient funds. In the middle of this immense panic for the family, Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) comes along to the household in order to help bring joy and child-like wonder back into everybody’s lives.
Before the release of Mary Poppins Returns, many people were worried that Blunt would not be able to pull off the role of the titular character, or at least be as good as former Mary Poppins actress Julie Andrews (who was originally asked to have a cameo in the film). But, viewers should rest assured that Blunt does pull off the character quite well as does it justice. Whenever she is on screen, you can just feel the sheer energy and joy seeping off of her, and when she starts singing, it is hard to not smile.
Speaking of singing, every single one of the big musical numbers that spread throughout this picture are extremely great and catchy. You will want to go home and listen to them again. One of the best talents in Mary Poppins Returns is Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack, who is remarkably charismatic here. In fact, some of the best musical sequences star him.
That being said however, this film can feel exceptionally long and can drag from time to time. This is a two hour and ten minute film, and it is quite easy to feel the running time. In particular, the first act of the film does feel unfortunately slow, as we do not progress too much into the plot until the second act kicks in. It would have been quite nice to have seen the running time cut down a bit and the plot start quicker than it did for the story to flow nicely.
In addition, Mary Poppins Returns is quite a forgettable film. Yes, there are some really terrific musical scenes and some extremely fun moments with fun characters, but it is nothing out of this world. There are definitely better musicals out there, and ones that are more memorable than this.
However, the third act of the film is actually quite exciting and is easily the most entertaining act of the entire thing. It is absolutely filled with tons of feel-good scenes and there are surprisingly quite a few scenes that have good suspense.
Mary Poppins Returns has great musical numbers, a charming performance from Emily Blunt, but is quite forgettable in the long run.
Overall Grade: C+
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild thematic elements and brief action
Cast: Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer
Directed by: Rob Marshall
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Running Time: 130 minutes