Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (25)
| Top Critics (3)
| Fresh (13)
| Rotten (12)
Unfortunately, the rest of the film, apart from the cast, has precious few redeeming features.
There are some admirable, if hard-to-watch, moments here, but the film's thriller tendencies are as half-cocked as its compassion for the struggles of parenthood.
Susanne Bier's latest is too obviously contrived to take its questions about what defines a deserving parent seriously.
A Second Chance manages to pose a shocking moral quandary without falling into an academic exercise.
Bier paints an impeccably bleak picture of her homeland, while Coster-Waldau sells the plot's more implausible moments with a nuanced performance of desperate realism.
Together, Bier and Jensen totally devastate us. This is what they do.
Despite the considerable contrivances involved in this saga, A Second Chance is, for much of its length, quite gripping, even though in the wash-up it's not convincing on any level.
The way the twists occur tends to undermine what could be a more interesting, resonant story about the darker aspects of family, parenthood, grief and power.
With style and content failing to gel, A Second Chance may just go to prove that Bier and Jensen aren't the perfect match they'd have us believe.
Riddled with implausibilities but executed with jaw-clenched earnestness and benefiting from a solid twist, this dark morality tale just about gets away with it.
Intentionally challenging, but the tastelessness is surely inadvertent.
The film is shouldered by a powerful performance by Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
If they get a second chance, I hope that the pair of Bier & Jensen would offer something way better than this.
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