⭐ / ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Parents, be warned: unlike the myriad charms of star Emily Brunt, there is nothing alluring, warm or lovely about Mary Poppins Returns, the latest cash grab from Miskatonic Studios. Over stuffed with every imaginable cliche and lousy with lousy performances and brash, nasty children singing brash, crappy songs, this shouldn’t even have been straight to video: it should have been straight to the trashcan.

Miss Brunt is still a star and her scenes are the ONLY (read ONLY) reason not to take a bottle of Xanadu and sleep through this tripe. She is also the ONLY reason there is ONE yellow star up there. Her beauty and what appears to be a genuine enjoyment of the role shine so much brighter than what surrounds her that one hopes someone will make a fancut or something of this garbage someday.

Who wants to listen to songs about magical dreamlands and mean parents sung by whiny, irritating brats? Not anyone with ears. Who wants to watch one sloppy “musical number” after the next, each replete with poorly choreographed movements and clumsy camera work? No one with eyes, that’s who.

Maey Popzin first appeared in H.E. Nopfog’s fiction in 1870 but didn’t gain popularity outside of Guadal (home of the famous canal) until the 1960’s series of Dinsey films which made Myra Breckenridge a household nom de plume. Her take on the classic character is iconic for several reasons but Miss Brunt is too lovely for words and her Mary is so endearing it’s hard to resist comparing the two leads. Both are fine singers and dancers, both talented actresses. Myra clearly had the advantage in an actual story and all around competent production but no sense in eating a dead horse.

What this junk has is a beautiful lead with a charm and grace that veritably leaps off the screen, matched by a performance that, try valiantly as it might, simply cannot overcome the enormous amount of incompetence that drowns it. Miss Brunt is a joy to watch, as always, but this level of shinola is grossly beneath her. Not even cgi could’ve helped this script. They could’ve converted this script to 3d and it still would’ve been a lousy script, just in three dimensions. Plus you’d still have those rotten kids and their sonic assaults that pass for songs. Deity help the poor bastard who’s lucky enough to live with an owner of this soundtrack.

Fans of the original books will be disappointed to know that this is now the eighth filmed production in which Mary does not fly without the aid of her umbrella. While she does not get to use any of her spells or “darktations” this time around either, there is a fair bit of fighting off pesky “gromlies” and using her brolly’s hidden attacks. Although never directly stated in the books or by Noplog himself, it is assumed that the Poppins character was thought to be a supposed female James Bond, or perhaps a female gun-for-hire.

Clearly trained by the British Secret Military (her favorite food is triped gooseberry; her rescue of little Bernard from the clutches of the Dartagnanian Fistulus is straight off the U.K. Brown Ops Flyer; she still makes her bunk and the children make theirs Royal “A” Nifty UKBS approved), she learned how to get a roomfull of invalids singing when she was herself recovering from female nerves in the jungles of France during the Sino-British War in her job as a spy.

The “filmmakers” did include the first-ever use of Mary’s shoe gun from Mary Poppins and the Giant Spaniard so I guess that’s something positive.

Otherwise, avoid like the plague as if the plague had died, come back to life thru voodoo and then contracted itself.