Movie Review: Popeye (1980)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1980 movie starring Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall.

Synopsis: A sailor arrives in the small coastal town of Sweethaven in search of the father who abandoned him when he was 2 years old. While there, he meets a large group of odd characters, including the love of his life, and ends up adopting an orphaned infant that has the ability to predict future events.

Review

I've seen this movie in the past, but it had been a while since I saw it in its entirety. So, when I had an opportunity to watch it last night (and I couldn't find anything better), I decided to do so.

Even though I couldn't remember much about this film when I started watching it, I did remember not enjoying it as much as I thought I would. As I watched it again last night, my opinion of it, admittedly, was a little better than it was the last time I saw it. However, while the movie wasn't as bad as I remembered, there were still quite a few things that could have used some improvement.

I, personally, loved Robin Williams' portrayal of the comic book/cartoon character Popeye. Yes, he was kind of hard to understand at times (he really should have taken the pipe out of his mouth when talking). But, I was able to at least get the gist of what he was saying and he pulled off the physical comedy portions of the movie fairly well.

In fact, the supporting cast was also pretty entertaining to watch. Duvall made an excellent Olive Oyl and Smith was one heck of a Bluto. In fact, I actually found myself getting a little depressed when I watched a scene involving Williams, Smith and Walston and realized all three are now deceased.

I think my biggest problem with this movie is it lacks focus. The characters were entertaining to watch and the fictional town of Sweethaven was visually awesome. However, the movie just seemed to have a hard time staying on task. By the time it gets to a halfway decent movie plot, involving Bluto kidnapping Swee'pea (Wesley Ivan Hurt), the film was almost over. It was almost as though the writers spent so much time focusing on the individual characters, they forgot to give the movie some sort of point.

Final Opinion

As I said, the film lacks focus and, because of that, isn't as good as it should be. But, if you like fun characters and surprisingly good scenery, it's worth taking the time to watch at least once.

My Grade: C

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Updated: 11/17/2016, StevenHelmer
 
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