Saturday, June 10, 2017

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016)
Buy Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children on Amazon Video / Read the book
Written by:  Ransom Riggs (based upon the novel written by), Jane Goldman (screenplay)
Directed by:
Tim Burton
Starring:  Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Samuel L. Jackson, Judi Dench, Rupert Everett, Allison Janney, Chris O'Dowd, Terence Stamp
Rated: PG-13

My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!

Jake (Asa Butterfield) discovers clues to a mystery that stretches across time, his grandfather leading him to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. While the residents have special powers, something sinister has followed Jake.

This is a very creative and inventive movie, but I don't really care about the characters or story. It's Harry Potter meets X-Men: First Class with a great cast that goes nowhere. This is a great fit for Tim Burton in that it crafts a dark and creepy mood. While the visuals are impressive, it's a derivative story that awkwardly progresses. CGI can't overcome that.
It depends.


I'm not familiar with the book, so I don't know if the movie deviates, or by how much.

I appreciate the story doesn't take some easy cliche ways out. I thought for a moment Jake might be his own grandfather as some weird way to connect past and present, but thankfully that doesn't happen. This also doesn't resort to a conclusion where Jake decides to live with the other peculiars. While we get a conclusion wrapped up with a bow, it's not a bad way to end this though it does set up future movies which is almost always a cheap tactic.

This had a solid start, with Jake's missing grandfather. Everyone regards him as crazy and senile. He isn't, surreal monsters do exist.
I get this is a fantasy movie, but it's a stretch that Jake's parents would indulge his quest to explore his grandpa's perceived rantings and fly him to a bombed out school.
Later a group of kids trick Jake into walking into a swamp. Any reasonable kid would wonder why they are telling him to keep walking as they stand on the street.  It's scenes and lapses in logic like this that hurt the film. It doesn't get any better. The dialog is often clunky as the plot stumbles along.

Once Jake gets to the school, I figured this had to be inspired by Harry Potter. Jake doesn't fit in and he finally finds a place where he's welcomed and with people more strange than he. The kids all have strange powers like the girl that can float. They might as well be called mutants, like X-men.

We get some wild visuals and a few twists. It turns out Jake was a ploy for the villains to find this school. The villains' are here because every movie needs a bad guy. They aren't established well, made spooky just because that's the bad guy trope.

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