Tim Burton brings us ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’. While I haven’t been impressed with Burton for a while, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Frankenweenie’ are films that I liked, his other works have been extremely disappointing with ‘Alice in Wonderland’ in 2010 and ‘Dark Shadows’ in 2012. Will ‘Miss Peregrine’ break the chain of letdown features or is it as same as the two latter mentioned films?
The film is about a school for gifted children (‘X-Men’) when Jake (played by Asa Butterfield) finds the school as it is the missing link to his grandfather. He finds that the children here have peculiar abilities and must defend them from monsters, or what they call as hollows.
Before I continue to dive into this film, if anyone wanted to love this film, it was me. I was super impressed with the film’s trailers, offering spectacular visuals and an interesting concept of kids who have special abilities. At one stage, I’m going to eventually lose enthusiasm for “endless” franchises like ‘Fast & Furious’ and the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’, so I wanted to be fully impressed with this film as a hopefully promising start for a new franchise for young adults, since ‘The Hunger Games’ has ended and the ‘Divergent’ series basically coming to a close, without even a proper ending so far. Now with that said, let’s get on with the review.
Tim Burton shows he has an eye for spectacular and imaginative visuals that can work and break this film. What works terrifically well is Emma’s peculiarity of air being able to float and suck the air out of an entire ship that has been sunken for years which transports me into this world, much alike what the ‘Harry Potter’ films did for me in 2001. Although, most of the children’s abilities are well executed, like Olive’s fire abilities, Bronwyn’s super strength, Enoch’s abilities to control the dead like puppets, “super creepy, but well executed”, and Fiona’s peculiarity of controlling plants and trees, which reminded me a lot from ‘Sky High’ as Layla also has the abilities to control the environment. Even the loops where Miss Peregrine can control time was well executed and well thought out. And some of the acting performances were solid, like Ella Purnell as Emma and Eva Green as Miss Peregrine.
Although, there are scenes that were really well done like a particular phone scene with Jake that was super well done, although could have had more of an emotional impact if we got more development between the two characters in the opening.
However, what works can also break like Horace’s dream like future which just forces me, and the audience, to buy this relationship, even if they only really had a scene together before this scene? It’s like, hold on, can I get some more development and chemistry from the two before you tell me these two are going to be in a relationship. It’s like telling me in ‘Chamber of Secrets’ that Ginny has feelings for Harry, instead of being subtle that they did with the movie of Ginny having a crush on Harry, she could have just said “Harry, I love you” and you’d be like, hang on, they haven’t even had a scene together, don’t tell me. The film’s intentional humour comes across as unfunny, silly and cringe worthy like there’s a joke with Emma about needing a mint? *Face Palm*. However what I found to be unintentional jokes those made me laugh more a few times, although the ones that were intentional made the whole audience that I was with laugh, and the ones I laughed was basically just me that was laughing. Although, while it has elements of story, the film’s third act can be intriguing, and yet can be too goofy, much due to Samuel L. Jackson feeling like he was in a completely different movie.
‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ can be a dazzlingly treat of visual effects and some cool elements of the film’s concept and story, yet the film is limited to its greatness thanks to some elements like Jake’s boring parents, some of the film’s intended humour and a weak villain.