Popeye - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Popeye Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 1, 2014
A delightful and sweet adaptation that captures the innocent spirit of the comic strip and the cartoon, translating it to the screen with great songs, a splendid production design (the entirely constructed set of Sweethaven is fabulous) and priceless moments between Williams and Walston.
Super Reviewer
August 5, 2014
Considering that Popeye is such an icon, this live action adaptation of the comic is mediocre to say the least. I went into this one wanting to really enjoy this, but I couldn't enjoy it. This film doesn't stand out and it suffered from lack of effective material for the actors to work with. The film just doesn't deliver, and as a hole it's a mediocre film that isn't worth your time. Popeye could have been a great movie, but the film lacks in anything really entertaining. I felt that Robin Williams was wasted on such a lacking film, and with that being said, Popeye is a failed attempt at bringing a comic book character to the screen. I felt that the potential was wasted, and the ideas really could have stood out, if the script would have been rewritten. This film ends up being a boring film, one that never becomes anything really memorable or fun for the viewer. Don't expect anything great from this one, you'll greatly be disappointed, as this live action version of the comic strip just doesn't have anything going for it. I was really hoping that this film would have been a fun, entertaining ride, unfortunately, there never is anything to really make this film work, and in the end, it's a mediocre comedy that is void any humor, as the gags here simply suffer and are not funny. Don't go into this one wanting something memorable, you'll sadly be disappointed and this lazy film. Popeye had some interesting ideas, but the execution was poor, and watch something else, you'll be glad you did.
Super Reviewer
January 24, 2010
The sailor man with the spinach can!

Good movie! This was Robin Williams first serious movie role and he is a brilliant Popeye. He brings so much humanity and pathos to this character that it is easy to see the great movies in his future. Shelly Duvall was born to play Olive Oyl and she does not squander the role of a lifetime. And in a smaller role, a standout performance is turned in Bill Irwin as Ham, Olive's bumbling, stumbling, clown of an ex-boyfriend. "Popeye" is a great conversion, from the comic strip to cartoon to film. With added depth and atmosphere, it remains an underrated classic appropriate for those willing to be transported by art to a fantasy land far , far away. However, overall, it's a nice, pleasing type of film. It's no award-winner, but it's a lot better than what you might have read from national critics. If you like Popeye's cartoons and comics, you should like this film, too.

Buff sailor-man Popeye arrives in an awkward seaside town called Sweet Haven. There he meets Wimpy, a hamburger-loving man; Olive Oyl, the soon-to-be love of his life; and Bluto, a huge, mean pirate who's out to make Sweet Haven pay for no good reason. Popeye also discovers his long-lost Pappy in the middle of it all, so with a band of his new friends, Popeye heads off to stop Bluto, and he's got the power of spinach, which Popeye detests, to butt Bluto right in the mush. Watch as Popeye mops the floor with punks in a burger joint, stops a greedy tax man, takes down a champion boxer, and even finds abandoned baby Swee' Pea. He's strong to the finish 'cause he eats his spinach!
Super Reviewer
April 22, 2007
People have tried to dissuade me into believing that Robert Altman's 1980 adaptation of the beloved character and story of Popeye is nothing more than a pure Hollywood fiasco. While I'm sure that there may be some truth to that, I can't honestly say that I really enjoy it. Sure there's a pace that doesn't work and a story that isn't as fulfilling as you'd hope it to be, but there's some fun hiding in there. I think Robin Williams does a great job bringing the character to life, but the best performance of the film is Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl. She was such a perfect choice to play that character and she just pulls it off effortlessly. This is really a live action cartoon, and I like it because of that. It may seem silly and strange at times, but I enjoy it. Watch for an early Dennis Franz during the first big fight scene at the restaurant.
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2010
I saw this movie when I was a kid, and I'd love to see it again sometime soon. I remember it being very funny, so I gave it four stars. Plus, Robin Williams plays Popeye, that's cool.
Super Reviewer
November 17, 2010
Definitely one of my favorite childhood movies. This brings all the goofy and amazingly bizarre elements of the cartoons and throws it into live action. What's odd is that this comes off as so genuine and lovable. You just wouldn't expect this type of movie to have such power and emotional weight. Robin Williams is pitch perfect as Popeye, no one else could even come close to bringing that character to life. Bluto and Shelly Duvall's Olive Oyl are also some great contributions. It's impossible to not take something from Popeye and admire it just a little. The sets are outrageously detailed and unique, the story manages to highlight the character in full and Robert Altman's respect for the source material is really nice to see.
Super Reviewer
½ July 1, 2009
"Heeeelp! Heeeelp!"

Robert Altman as the director. Robin Williams in his first feature film role. You'd think that the end result would be somewhat entertaining. Well, 'Popeye' was a real torture and honestly one of the worst films I've ever seen.

Popeye comes to a place called Sweethaven to find his father, meets Olive Oyl and all of a sudden adopts a kid called Sweetpea. And every now and then the cast starts to sing the most terrible songs ever performed on the big screen. I like musicals as much as the next new kid on the block but goddamn! These songs were probably arranged by a bunch of braindamaged monkeys. Fuck me sideways and pull a roll of quarters from my ass!

The cast is a bunch of apathetic nutcases. The acting, all of them together and not to name a few, is one of the worst ever witnessed by my eyes. Their voices, their looks... Awful. I should probably get some therapy for this but I'm pretty sure that I'll cry myself to sleep today. There's absolutely nothing good in this film. No wait, the moment when the screen goes blank. I enjoyed that. Very much.

Now you may ask; "You moron! Why didn't you just push the stop button?" Not my thing, I always watch the movie 'til the end. Even if it would suck more ass the all the asses in the world and beyond. Do not watch this movie!
Super Reviewer
November 14, 2006
Popeye: Another thing I got is a sensk of humiligration. Now, maybe you swabs can pool your intelligensk and sees that I'm axking you for an apologeky.

So this movie happened.

Sitting on my shelf, in the pile consisting mostly of movies other people bought me, me and the boys decided to watch Popeye, a movie I forgot existed. Not only does is it directed by Robert Altman and stars Robin Williams in his debut film role and Shelly Duvall, the film is also a musical. Let the fun begin!

Certainly a lot of effort went into the production design, as a whole town was built to create the sets for this movie. Along with careful choreography and extras use to get across this light-hearted musical theme. All of this going into the film that is treated very much like a cartoon.

Basically, the story involves Popeye coming into town looking for his pappy, only to fall for the skinny Olive Oyl. Unfortunately, Popeye must also deal with the brute known as Bluto and a newly arrived baby on the scene.

Now, I'm not a fan of musicals and it doesn't help when only a couple of the songs actually have comprehensible lyrics, however, that's not a huge problem for this film. The big problem comes from the fact that its almost two hours long. Its a huge stretch to suffer through Williams playing this character and Shelly Duvall and her teeth complaining and screaming for Popeye.

Its well made, I guess, but hell if I wanna watch it again anytime soon.

Popeye: Oh, what am I? Some kind of barnacle on the dinghy of life?
Super Reviewer
½ May 24, 2009
Popeye in its first and only live action movie was kinda disappointing to me. I mean I like the movie but I notice a lot of errors and flaws that makes you think why they did this movie. The story and the plot is kinda cheesy, the fx's are terrible specially at the end with the octopus that looks totally fake at first sight. The cast is good but their performances not so much, the only one that is worthy is Robin Williams as Popeye and only because he is a natural comedian and knows how to lift a character. Anyway I review it with 3 1/2 stars because it made me remember one of my favorite cartoons and because Williams is one of my favorite actors.
Super Reviewer
June 12, 2008
I recently re-watched this, having seen it in the theaters when I was a kid and remembering that I had liked it. Which having grown up watching Popeye cartoons was no surprise.

I enjoyed it this time around as well, but for different reasons. I'm a sucker for good set design, creative costumes, actual people & objects being used in special effects / stunts as opposed to the over-use of CGI. Part of this films charm is that it was made this "old fashioned" way, yet it is still very stylized and visually appealing. The sets were so amazing and well built that they are still there in Malta nearly 30 years later and have become a sort of tourist destination!

It does have it's weak points, but all in all it is an enjoyable little romp and the cast does a great job at bringing the cartoon characters to life. And one of the few films where Robin Williams doesn't bug the crap out of me!
Super Reviewer
½ February 18, 2007
This adaptation of the famous comic strip by director Robert Altman is the cinematic equivalent of the old "good news" routine. The good news is that Robin Williams makes a terrific Popeye, and Shelley Duvall was born to play Olive Oyl. This is so wonderfully weird to look at and so much fun at times.
Super Reviewer
October 28, 2007
ive seen this it ok funny
Super Reviewer
½ October 19, 2007
As I recall, a really retarded movie.
Super Reviewer
½ August 2, 2007
I liked this movie. I thought it was funny and that even the music was pretty good. It was a stretch to make this into live action.
Super Reviewer
June 7, 2007
I loved this movie as a kid; saw it at the theatre 5 times - and then watched endless airings on Super Channel. Malta makes a great exotic location for a fishing village, sea and treasure island. This was one of the first cartoon to live action adaptations, and was fascinating to see the embodiment of whole range of characters. They didn't put in The Sea Hag and Eugene the Jeep - too late for a sequel now. The songs were great: "I Yam What I Yam", "Food Food Food" and the classic "I'm Popeye the Sailor Man." A lot of love went into the making of this movie from all involved. A childhood favorite, but now I can only watch it every few years.
Super Reviewer
April 2, 2007
Probably Altman's worst in my honest opinion.
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2007
Absolutely painful live-action cartoon complete with dodgy musical numbers. So completely off the mark it's almost surreal...
Super Reviewer
March 9, 2006
A treat for people who like big faces.
Super Reviewer
June 4, 2014
Director Robert Altman brings Popeye to the big screen as a live-action musical-comedy that's goofy and lighthearted. Adapted from the comic series, a sailor named Popeye comes to the quirky small town of Sweethaven looking for his long-lost father. Featuring a strong cast, the film is full of entertaining performances from Robin Williams, Shelley Duvall, Ray Walston, and Paul Dooley. Williams in particular is quite good, delivering a unique interpretation of Popeye that's a bit softer than the cartoon version. And the music is also especially well-done, with catchy and whimsical songs such as "I'm Mean," "He Needs Me," and of course "I'm Popeye the Sailor Man." Yet a lot of the film's energy is lost through Altman's poor directing, which is often unfocused. But despite its faults, Popeye is incredibly charming and fun.
Super Reviewer
May 18, 2012
I don't remember this being so fresh, funny as hell, the singing is just wrong but works in so many ways, to see how movies have developed from then and what was cool back then is just, artistically crazy!
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