A perfect children's film. Emily Blunt makes an excellent Mary Poppins. She admits no one can out-Julie Julie Andrews, but she makes a very creditable showing and you're certainly not left making comparisons. She owns the role in this Poppins iteration. Lin-Manuel Miranda plays Jack the lamplighter in the Dick van Dyke type role as the honest, cheerful salt-of-the-earth Londoner, and manages it without the excruciating Dick van Dyke cockney accent. Let's face it, the standard of Hollywood dialect coaching is way higher than it used to be in the 1960s.
The plot is fairly simple. Michael Banks (Ben Wishaw), one of the children from the first film, now grown, married, father of three children and recently widowed, is understandably depressed, not keeping up with the family goings-on and about to lose the house to the bank. His sister, Jane, is unable to snap him out of it. He has the soul of an artist but slogs away in the same bank his late father worked at.
Enter magical nanny, Mary Poppins aided and abetted by lamplighter, Jack. Cue a string of entertaining songs and set-piece dance scenes which map onto the original movie. You get the magical song and dance with cartoon characters. The lamplighters have a set piece to replace the chimney sweep scene in the original. But it's all good fun and it all ends happily, of course.
If you have kids in the 6 - 12 age group take them. You (and they) won't be disappointed. A bonus for all grownups who saw the original as children is Dick van Dyke (now well in his 90s) making an appearance, both singing and dancing (without the risible accent). And who doesn't love Dick van Dyke? There's a bonus Julie Walters as the Banks family housekeeper, David Warner as Admiral Bloom, and Angela Lansbury as the Balloon Lady.