Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (4)
| Top Critics (1)
| Fresh (1)
| Rotten (3)
Blood spurts, but director (and co-writer with Marc B. Ray) Guy Magar doesn't make the horror convincing. The simplistic story line and the unconvincing portrayal by Wightman haven't been enhanced by indifferent production values.
...hopelessly anti-climactic (and downright needless)...
Will make you Hide-under-the-covers!
I originally wasn't gonna watch this movie yesterday. I was gonna watch Event Horizon, but then I thought about it and the longer I put off this movie the more pressure I'd put myself to watch it. I mean, it's readily available to me and I've seen the previous two movies. So why, oh why would I not watch this? And, really, to avoid that I just said fuck it and watched this instead. I'll be honest, after how bad the second movie was, I was not looking forward to this in the slightest. I had a lot of issues with Terry O'Quinn's performance in the second movie, but his absence was key in this. I just felt he, largely, was too good as the character to replace. Which is why, honestly, it perplexed me for this movie to be a continuation of the second movie, with the Stepfather (Keith in this movie), hilariously, getting a plastic surgery to make him look like someone completely different than Terry O'Quinn. This introduction is absolutely absurd, and that's not mentioning the fact that the Stepfather escaped from the same insane asylum for a second time (which he did in the first sequel). Though, in this case, it's mentioned in passing and you don't actually see him escaping. But, back to the back alley plastic surgery, you see the Stepfather wearing a hood to conceal his face prior to the surgery. He also never speaks during this, which is absurd. The only one who talks is the surgeon and the Stepfather makes some gesture with his hands to substitute dialogue. Here's why I mention that it's absurd, however, the surgeon performs the surgery with absolutely NO anesthesia. He's carving the Stepfather up and, being the manly man that he is, he never one screams out, despite clearly being in pain. Another issue is the fact that plastic surgery is supposed to change your appearance, not the sound of your voice. So why was the Stepfather's voice different in this movie when compared to the other films??? If you have to jump through these many hoops to make it so that it's still the same character from the previous movies, then why even bother? Why don't you just ignore what came before, create a similar character and still call it Stepfather 3. Goodness knows it wouldn't be the first time this has been done and it wouldn't have been the last. Terry O'Quinn wasn't coming back, that much was to be expected. I'm honestly they even got him to do the first sequel to be honest. So, I'll be honest, this introduction with the plastic surgery and all that was hilariously awful. It was bad, but at least it made me laugh. But, as far as the rest of the movie goes, however, I'll be honest, this was a pleasant surprise. Look, I'm not gonna say that this is a good movie, or even a decent one, but it's so much better than I probably would have expected. There's some cringe-worthy moments, for sure, like people laughing unnaturally at jokes that wouldn't be funny to a one-year old. Andy has this computer program that, basically, lets him act like a detective. He's fascinated by the case of the escaped serial killer that marries a woman with one child (ie: his stepfather) and he creates a file. Andy says this to his real father and his wife, when he stays with them for a period of weeks during the summer. And his father replies with 'boy, I sure don't know how the FBI got along without you' and everybody, Andy's father, Andy, his father's wife and their two kids start to laugh at this as if they were watching a George Carlin HBO special. It's so fake and so unnatural. This isn't the only one in the movie, but this is, by far, the worst. The dialogue can be terrible at times and the movie, obviously, isn't the best (technically) put together movie out there. But, in spite of all of that, I felt that this was more in tune with the spirit of the original than the first sequel. I honestly believe that. This is still, technically speaking, more a slasher than a psychological thriller at this point, but I felt that the tone of the movie, the pacing and the narrative was more like the original. Another thing is replacing Terry O'Quinn with Robert Wightman might have seemed across like a terrible choice. Not because Wightman lacks talent, but because O'Quinn, at least in the first movie, inhabited that role and he became that character. But, I'll be honest, Robert Wightman did a perfectly solid job in this movie all things considered. He was a more than adequate replacement. Hell, I'll even say that Wightman was better in this movie than O'Quinn was in Stepfather 2. Oh, yes. I went there. The reason I say this isn't because, as a whole, Wightman is a better actor than O'Quinn. The reason I bring this up is because O'Quinn, and you could tell from his body language, couldn't have cared less about doing the Stepfather 2. He still performed well, but there was something off about the performance. Wightman, on the other hand, doesn't have those issues. He embraced the character and, really, gave a pretty damn good (for a direct-to-video affair) performance here as this psychopath. Of course, there's nothing that ties Wightman to the original movie and, while the movie makes some attempts to do so, they don't beat you over the head with it. There's still something about Wightman that doesn't fit because of that but, taken the movie as a standalone experience, Wightman does deliver the goods here. Having said that, I think O'Quinn was superior, in both films, in one respect. And that is portraying the Stepfather as this lame guy with all-American values and ideas of what the perfect family should be. Wightman doesn't capture that, he's just too shifty-looking for him to be able to pull that off convincingly. That's probably the only thing I can say that he just didn't manage to pull off. Having said all of that, however, this movie still has its faults. They pretty much rip-off some of the same story elements from the original. For example, Andy (who's in a wheelchair) is close to Father Brennan. This is taken straight from the original with Stephanie being close to her psychiatrist, Dr. Bondurant. In this film's case, however, they do a better job at portraying that friendship between Andy and Brennan. Andy has his suspicions of Keith (the Stepfather) and he starts investigating into his past, he starts believing that he's the escaped serial killer. This is, again, taken from the first movie, where Stephanie suspected Jerry (as he was known then) of being the murderer. Andy eventually brings in Father Brennan to help investigate Keith's past, just as Stephanie does (to a lesser extent) with Bondurant, as the doctor was starting to have his own suspicions given everything Stephanie was telling him. I feel like that's why I can't give this 2.5 stars, because parts of it are taken right from the original. Another issue is the fact that the movie runs almost its entire running time. It's something like 103 with credits that run two minutes or so. And, in my opinion, this is just unacceptable. One of my complaints with the second movie was the fact that I felt that there were scenes missing. Like one scene would lead to another and you'd feel that there was meant to be something in between that was just cut out. This movie definitely rectifies some of those issues as, largely, I feel that this movie's narrative progressed naturally. I didn't feel there was anything left out that would have added more context or more detail to the 'world'. But, at the same time, you could have also trimmed a little of the fat here and the pacing would have definitely been a lot better. After Andy goes to stay with his father and stepmother for the summer, this is when the issues start happening. The Stepfather starts bonding with another single woman (with a son) and he starts to think about plotting his escape from his current marriage and settling down with this one. Thing is, this woman eventually crosses over into his family life, enrolling her son at the same school his wife works at. So I get that they were probably trying to make this other woman more than just another target for the Stepfather to get rid of, but there's still some filler here that could have been edited out without hurting the overall point the movie was trying to make. With that said, there's still also some stupidity. The one major one I can think of is when the Stepfather sets up a ladder in front of the wood chipper in order to get on top of it and look for Andy, whom he's hunting down to murder. Like why the FUCK would you set up a ladder in front of a wood chipper where, if someone could accidentally bump into it and flip it over and, therefore, you'd land right in the wood chipper that's already running. What would drive a logical, sane person to even think of that? No actual human being would ever do that. I mean, really, I get why it was done. It's the only way to guarantee that the Stepfather will never hurt anyone again, but it's stupid of his character to do so. Another thing is the fact that the dialogue in this movie is bad, which I already mentioned. Reason it's bad is because, sometimes, these people talk like no one in real life would ever talk to another human being. It's just so fake and silly. Though, to this movie's credit, at least they were able to make me laugh with these fake-sounding conversations. No idea what else I should say. I think part of the reason why this got a higher rating than the first sequel is because it embraces the fact that it's not comparable to the original and doesn't try to make you otherwise. They don't make its badness the focus of it, like Sharknado does. This movie doesn't have illusions of grandeur but, at the very least, they made a movie that's more faithful to the ideas of the original than the first sequel. And I can't fault them for that. It borrows heavily from the original, yes, and it's not even a good movie by any standard, but I'm completely fine with this being the end of the Stepfather franchise. It did not leave as sour a taste in my mouth as Stepfather 2 did. I don't think I'd ever recommend this, in any setting, but this is still better than it had any right to be.
Stepfather 3 Father's Day? The third installment in this lackluster series. Inferior in every sense of the word, this sequel is terrible, and follows too closely the same formula used in the first film. The film ends up being a wreck of a film and therefore has no entertainment value whatsoever. A lame uninspired third entry in a tired out franchise. A shame.
This is the best psychotic stepfather series I ever watched with good courage of a disabled son of the family who discovers the mystery of his stepfather and protects his own family.
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