|The projector is a kid's freakin eyeball!|
"If I show you the rest, you have to promise not to run away"Tim Burton used to be a name that brought out our senses of oddity and wonder. With films like Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and Sleepy Hollow, he delved into the creepy netherworld and tantalized our inner Severus Snapes (we all have one, Always). But then, his allure started to run its course and became too expected and borderline cliche. With movies such as Corpse Bride, Dark Shadows, and Frankenweenie, the similarities became so blatant, that every new project of his seems to get less and less anticipation and excitement. I hate to say this but, Tim needs to change his tune and try something different.
I did say however, that this film is a step, and not in any way a leap for the famous director. It does have its problems that can't be ignored. What does work, is the the overall experience with the story and the look of every character and environment. There's some cool things going on here. The time bubble stuff is mildly confusing, but the action scenes and flashback moments come off very well. Now if only the characters were given as much attention as Miss Peregrine's appearance, this would be a great movie.
What's hurting Miss Peregrine's status of probably never being considered a future classic, is the treatment of the film's lead actor and his friends, the Peculiars. Aside from Asa Butterfield's (Ender's Game) main role, none of his new friends have any backstory and have little to do and say, except to show off their strange powers from time to time.
I believe in having characters shrouded in mystery from time to time, but here it just doesn't work. Their lack of depth really lessened my concern for them in times of peril. And Butterfield, he's got the emotional presence of a vegetable. Everything he says and does, has no impact. Thank god he didn't make the cut as the new Spider-Man. There are some acting jewels throughout the film though. Terence Stamp (Yes Man) as Butterfield's Grandfather, has only a few scenes, but his just being there helps a lot.
Eva Green (Penny Dreadful) as Miss Peregrine, is peculiar herself and has no background as well, yet her talented acting skills and her character's concern for the children, is quite believable. Samuel L. Jackson (Kingsman: The Secret Service) as the leader of the film's creepy monsters called Hollowgasts (wights), is just fun to watch (as always), and has some awesome makeup for his ghoulish appearance.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenThe Good- Finding Grandpa in the mist, the underwater ship and its hiding place, the wight attacks have a Resident Evil feel to them, no one should yank Judi Dench (Casino Royale) out of a window like that!, the carnival dock battle, and the eyeball feast.
The Bad- Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids) trying to do an American accent is painful to hear, and Rupert Everett's (Inspector Gadget) facial latex is just awful.
The Ugly- Without any blood, it's apparently okay to show children's eyes being sucked out of their skulls and consumed by monsters, in a freakin kid's movie!
Final ThoughtsMiss Peregrine's is worth a look see. It's not great, but it is entertaining and cool to look at. Now if only Burton would try something else that's out of his comfort zone that's without Helena Bonham Carter (almost every Burton Film), Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), and stupid zombie dogs, he may just win his way back into the dark and peculiar corners of our hearts.
Rating- 6.5 out of 10
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016)
PG-13 | 2h 7min | Adventure, Drama, Family | 30 September 2016 (USA)
When Jacob discovers clues to a mystery that stretches across time, he finds Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. But the danger deepens after he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers.
Director: Tim Burton
Writers: Ransom Riggs (based upon the novel written by), Jane Goldman (screenplay)
Stars: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Samuel L. Jackson