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  1. Published on: 07/02/2019 09:01 PMReported by: Film Critic
    For people who adore and were brought up by the original, a mix of huge excitement and bags of nerves must have been inside everyone ever since the news of this sequel came out.


    The excitement of heading back to Cherry Tree Lane and knowing how good this film could be, and the nerves of it not feeling the same or matching the magical experience of the 1964 original.


    The beginning already had me getting goosebumps but also a sense of alienation it felt really odd coming back to this story with these beloved characters. I seemed to have the same emotions throughout the film. While there were some amazing sequences including a phenomenal animated one, I noticed so many glaring similarities to the structure of the original with some twists to them. But even recognising them, I could still feel the magic that only a Mary Poppins could conjure. Many of the songs felt pretty catchy, and by the time the final act came round, I eventually become overwhelmed by it by a memorable final scene.


    Despite the mounting pressure, I think Emily Blunt did a pretty good job playing Mary Poppins. She was never going to match or beat the powerhouse display by Julie Andrews. But Blunt still felt like Mary had returned and had all the usual quips that we know and love.
    I was honestly not too bothered by Lan-Manuel Miranda. Many people seem to be giving him huge praise for effectively playing Bert, but not really. I thought he was fine and he felt moved the story along. But very little of him felt anything more then that.
    The child actors of Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and Joel Dawson were all great in my opinion. They felt really committed and felt as if they'd doing it for years. They were funny, sweet and strong when they needed to be.
    As for the others, Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer were as good as you would expect and Julie Walters does Julie Walters. Meryl Streep wasn't that memorable, Colin Firth did well playing the villain in broad strokes that work well with similar family films.
    There were a couple of lovely surprises at the end that I won't say who was involved. But it will certainly put a smile on your face.


    Lots of positives from the technical side. The production, sets and costumes are tip-top and I was pleased to feel that many of the songs were catchy and fitted the tone perfectly.


    I think the whole feeling of watching this was like going to watch a tribute band. The magic is there, it has all the similar beats and it reminds us why we love the original. But the rawness and purity of created by the original band members makes the sequel the inferior.
    Like I said, there were many parts that gave me goosebumps and there are some set-pieces that were genuinely fantastic and the strength of that is what is helping me give it an strong rating. But I would have liked a new story rather then basically treading over familiar grounds.


    Rating: 8/10
     

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