'Mr. Popper's Penguins' brings out Jim Carrey's usual comedic form, enhanced by half a dozen birds.
Barry Wetcher/20th Century Fox/AP
Jim Carrey at his best is one of the funniest performers on the planet. Like most great comics, he also decided fairly early that he wanted to be taken “seriously” as an actor, and so he traded in “Ace Ventura” and “Dumb and Dumber” for films like “The Majestic” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”
It’s probably no use trying to convince him, at this late date, especially when his limbs may not be limber, that there’s more artistry in his rubber-man goofiness than in his Oscar-bait earnestness. In “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” he’s playing a divorced real estate shark who flips New York landmarks and has fallen out of favor with both his kids (Maxwell Perry Cotton, Madeline Carroll) and ex-wife (Carla Gugino). A surprise inheritance from his globe-trotting father – a shipment of penguins from the Antarctic – brings out his cuddly side and inevitably bonds the family.