* (out of four)
Something new and different for Jim Carrey ("Liar, Liar"): Playing a financially rich, emotionally bankrupt guy who must learn what's really important in life (duh: your kids) as a situation spins out of control. When Tom Popper (Carrey) inherits six penguins that amuse his children but distract him from his real estate acquisitions job, the question is which, oh which path will he choose as his personal and professional life intersect?
The buzz: You know what's cute? Real penguins. You know what's not cute? CGI penguins that honk and yell at Popper until he learns to potty train and teach them to dance.
The verdict: Get this. A penguin poops on Popper's shoe and later, no joke, another one poops in his face. So funny. Also, Popper's assistant (Ophelia Lovibond) constantly uses words that begin with the letter "p," which alphabet enthusiasts are sure to find just delightful. Other than numerous depictions of Charlie Chaplin, "Mr. Popper's Penguins" also makes reference to the Beatles, the Doors and "Apocalypse Now," which I'm sure the creative forces behind those classic entities will love. Carrey generates zero laughs with one penguin. Then five more penguins arrive, and even youngsters should know the product of six times zero.
Did you know? Almost forgot to mention: Popper gets hit in both the crotch and the face by a soccer ball. Kevin James' "Zookeeper" can't be this lazy, can it?
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