Upstaged in sentimental tale
sweet sentiment are easier to swallow and the chill outside mirrors the swathes of snow and ice on the big screen. The screenwriters certainly don’t help, having the titular father deliver a patriotic grandstand speech about the glory of America and its citizens that sticks in our craw. The film opens in 1976 with young, rosy-cheeked Tommy Popper communicating with his explorer father in Antarctica using a CB radio and the handles Tippytoes and Bald Eagle. Fast forward to the present day and Thomas (Carrey) has become a workaholic real estate developer for a moneygrabbing firm. “I love the smell of toner in the morning,” grins Thomas, sniffing a report prepared by personal assistant Pippi (Ophelia Lovibond), who pointlessly punctuates perfectly pithy prose with a plethora of Ps. Carrey reins in his usual mugging and is completely upstaged by the real and digitally-rendered birds, who wreak havoc at a swanky party in the Guggenheim museum with its sloping spiral walkway. Carroll and Cotton tug heartstrings as the kids who want their father to choose them over his job, while Gugino is a slave to the contrived narrative. FAMILY WATCH: No Swearing, No Sex, Violence.
Jim Carrey in Mr Popper’s Penguins.