Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (11)
| Top Critics (1)
| Fresh (9)
| Rotten (2)
Too many moments come off as clichéd or contrived.
It's energetic and eager to please, and it certainly doesn't insult its viewers' literacy: the rap battles are cleverly written.
Vs. may set its stall as the British 8 Mile, with its hard-done-by protagonist transmuting his rage into lyrics, but it goes its own way and is refreshingly progressive when it comes to gender and sexuality.
Lilly deftly handles a cliched story - there are parallels with everything from Eminem in 8 Mile to boxing drama Creed - giving it a distinctive, persuasive edginess.
The soundtrack is better than the movie.
It's pungently acted by a cast of unknowns, and the wars of words are thrilling and often eye-wateringly offensive.
It's about a young white rapper who has issues with his mother, and naturally it may owe something to Curtis Hanson's 8 Mile from 2003, starring Eminem, but I enjoyed this more.
In the latter stages, the film becomes increasingly sentimental, and even risks turning into a full blown tearjerker, but it never feels trite or manipulative.
Lily has been extremely respectful with the subject culminating in an exceptionally delicate and nuanced drama delivered with fierce lyrical force.
VS gains strength by not trotting out easy Hollywood solutions to complex problems. Nor does it lay on the seaside location too thick.
Embraces the specificity of an English working-class seaside milieu, stacks the drama with ebullient UK rap and grime talent, and puts Swindells's vital performance stage centre to produce a compelling drama that transcends its generic roots...
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