Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (9)
| Top Critics (1)
| Fresh (1)
| Rotten (8)
Man City fans will lap it up, but this is really just an 89-minute exercise in celebrity trolling.
While a microscopic budget and somewhat misguided premise create constant irritations, this British comedy has such a bone-dry sense of humour that it can't help but keep the audience laughing.
If only the end results, which take broad and often ill-judged swipes at race, gender and sexuality, were better.
It also adds weight to my theory that screenplays are a good thing and improvising only works if you have a world-class cast of comedians and Christopher Guest directing.
The film feels like a TV sketch stretched to feature length and some of the gags are crass in the extreme but it is intermittently funny and perceptive on top-level modern footballers and celebrity culture.
Bound to appeal more to ABUs (Anyone But United) than fans of Old Trafford's resident football team.
Yellow and red cards must be shown for the film's sleazy displays of sexism, racism and homophobia.
It may not exactly be a Swiftian satire but this send-up of modern football is frequently funny and as full of raw commitment as a two-footed lunge.
Taking predictable potshots at obscene wealth, institutionalised corruption and humourless German goalkeepers, United offers nothing on the beautiful game that Billy the Fish didn't say on the pages of Viz three decades ago.
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