Mr Popper's Penguins, 94 mins, PG

 

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The Independent Culture

Mr Popper's Penguins is one of the many high-concept Hollywood comedies that propose that you're not a good father unless you neglect your career and behave like a maniac (cf. Evan Almighty, Imagine That). It stars Jim Carrey as a predatory property developer who inherits six penguins – don't ask. His children adore the flatulent little critters, so Carrey agrees to keep them, because children should always get absolutely everything they want, even if that means filling your New York apartment with ice, snow and bird droppings.

Revolting as that might sound, Mr Popper's Penguins is much more bearable than most Bad Dad comedies. It's not too saccharine, not too offensive, and, despite the postcard images of New York landmarks, it never hangs around long enough to let you ponder how ludicrous it all is. Anyway, even in a pot-boiler like this, Carrey's comic genius is coruscating. Please, someone, give him a film without any penguins in it.

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