X-treme BMX Mary Poppins

The new Mary Poppins has been out for a week so I’m gonna talk about the only WTF moment for me: the extreme sports moment in it (skip this if you consider a critique of a scene a spoiler)

At one point in the film, they need to get across town and decide to go by bicycle and they need help to accomplish their goal so all the other lamplighters on bikes join in, and then it happens: pointless bike stunts.

To be fair, I thought the styling of the obviously modern bmx jump bikes were fairly close to the relic that Lin-Manuel Miranda was riding, and most people wouldn’t catch they were modern bikes since they were styled to match the look of older classic bikes.

The stunt riding cracked me up. For no reason, there’s a double peg grind on a handrail. Then a few tabletop airs off some quarterpipes built into the scenery. And then Emily Blunt does a Blender! Madness I tell you, all of it.

Here’s a proper Blender done by an old friend Pete Brandt that rides regularly to this day outside of the Ferry Building in SF. I used to ride with him in high school and early college when I still did flatland bmx (I used to have a tiny blog dedicated to me trying to keep it up, that’s me in the header graphic). It was hilarious to me that they made it appear that Mary Poppins was doing this.

Anyway, my main beef is this: the new film was made like a timeless classic, and it felt like a throwback to the style of the original film, but then there’s a moment of modern BMX thrown in for no reason. It’s like as if it was filmed in 1996 and you had a big set of rollerbladers in a scene for no reason.

Pointless BMX is going to date this film instantly as something from the 2010s while adding nothing to the story. It didn’t ramp up the excitement for me, it just felt out of place and weird.

Aside from this minor point, the film is beautiful looking and the costumes are great as well as the choreography and music. The songs aren’t catchy as the originals and the film goes a bit slowly for my tastes but overall it was a fun time at the theater.

It just didn’t need any BMX in it.