The movie is smartly paced, and Sprouse (“Riverdale”) and Richardson make for one of the more adorable pairs in recent films. You not only want what’s best for them, but believe it can actually happen.
If Wonder Park were a carnival attraction, it would be the merry-go-round. The animated movie has animals, relentless positivity and the most predictable journey ever. You must be no more than 4 feet tall to ride this one.
What’s said to be Marvel’s most powerful superhero ever is served Melatonin by Larson. There is precious little texture or detail, ups and downs, or emotions of any kind in her performance. The character, even when kicking ass, is a total bore. Such as it is, the film’s best moments are provided by Jackson and a hilarious cat.
Moretz, meanwhile, acts like Little Red Riding Hood talking to her conspicuously hairy grandma — impossibly naive, and therefore dull and unbelievable. She’s a solid actress, but she shines best in indies or in parts with real edge. Greta is a camp-fest.
Although the film is about Paige’s unlikely rise to TV stardom, what grabs us most is the eclectic Knight family running a scrappy professional wrestling gym on a shoestring. It might be the biggest missed reality-TV show opportunity ever.
Instead of smarts, we get farts. The movie is packed with gross body and sex humor, reductive characters (the gay assistant, the boss who should be fired) and delusions of insight. And Henson’s likable performance is so overblown, it could be sponsored by Red Bull.
This “Poppins” sequel has an entirely new score, with exactly none of the cherished songs from the great Julie Andrews movie. Once you accept that, you can move on — and enjoy the countless other joys this follow-up has to offer. It will be a jolly-er holiday with Mary Poppins Returns.