Starring: Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ralph Fiennes
Director: Susanna White
Running Time: 109 mins
Nanny McPhee And The Big Bang is a British film and the sequel to Nanny McPhee. After a stressed mother is forced to take in her nephew and niece from the city, her house descends into chaos, leaving only Nanny McPhee to teach the children a lesson.
Although it wasn’t an excellent film, there were elements of the first Nanny McPhee that I rather liked. This time round, however, there wasn’t all that much to enjoy, given that the film fails to introduce anything new to the premise, and really falls short of the mark when trying to make you laugh, instead ending up as a frustrating and long-winded affair that has nowhere near the same sense of magic as the first movie.
And that’s the one thing that really frustrated me about this movie. I’ll admit that the original isn’t a work of art, but the fact remains that it does manage to create a pleasantly magical storybook atmosphere right the way through, as we see the groteseque Nanny McPhee arrive at the door, yet use her magic and morals to teach a group of rowdy young children a good lesson.
This time round, however, the movie just goes through the exact same motions, yet in the knowledge that you’ve already seen how Nanny McPhee uses her powers, and changes over the course of her work with children, the movie rushes through everything she does, and while attempting to not bore you, it ends up completely destroying some of the elegance and magic that the first film did manage to pull off rather well.
Secondly, the humour here isn’t all that hilarious. The first movie didn’t make me laugh out loud, but pretty much everything fell flat here. The comedy is written poorly, and doesn’t include anything to make anyone over the age of 7 years old laugh, instead simply throwing mud and toys around the screen from beginning to end, leaving me extremely bored with the whole affair right the way through.
The performances, too, are less than fantastic. While Emma Thompson commanded a certain respect and likability in the first movie, she doesn’t manage the same here, largely due to the fact that she appears to be going through some very predictable motions in her performance, effectively copying from the last movie, and showing little change or growth from the previous edition.
In supporting roles, Maggie Gyllenhaal is far down on what we know she is capable of, and the children just don’t have anything particularly memorable to offer, leaving all of the characters as rather dull and forgettable presences to be left on the screen when you walk out of the cinema.
Overall, I wasn’t all that impressed by Nanny McPhee And The Big Bang. For young children, it might just have enough to prove a simple and entertaining watch, but for anyone else, there’s very little here to take notice of, with a formulaic and predictable replication of the first film, yet rushed through and complete with next to no decent comedy, which is why I’m giving it a 6.0.