Review by CJ
Asa Butterfield, Ella Purnell, Eva Green, Samuel L. Jackson
Other notable appearances:
Terence Stamp, Chris O’Dowd, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Judi Dench
Watch this if you liked:
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Oz the Great and Powerful, Alice in Wonderland (2010)
When Jakob’s grandfather is killed under horrific circumstances, Jakob travels to the children’s home his grandfather spent time in as a child hoping that the trip will enlighten him on his grandfather’s past. Jakob discovers that the fantastic stories his grandfather told him were not only real but now lead him to a renewed purpose in his own life.
I loved the book on which Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is based but felt quite let down by the film. Allow me to preface my review by stating that I feel this film may be enjoyed more by viewers who have not read and loved the novel.
While Tim Burton is the master of original gothic fairytales and pseudo-horror craziness, I find that his adaptations often leave a lot to be desired. While Burton didn’t write the screenplay, and I’m not sure how much creative input he had to it, I find adaptations and remakes in which he is involved to be consistently disappointing and almost always falling short of the source material.
In the case of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, the disappointment comes from an array of unnecessary changes with no explanation, incorrect portrayals of main characters and a complete change of how the story ends. While I understand the point that has been made that films are seldom the same as the books on which they are based, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children seems to pick out a handful of threads and then reweave them into something else almost entirely.
The acting from the younger actors is pretty average for most of the film and even Chris O’Dowd seems to just go through the motions. Eva Green is delightful to watch as Miss Peregrine as she and Samuel L. Jackson bring life to an otherwise underwhelming cast.
Overall, the fantastical nature of the plot and the gorgeous scenery will likely entertain viewers who haven’t read the novel and maybe even some who have but who are more forgiving of creative liberties in book to film adaptations. As someone who loved the book and was looking forward to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children I was disappointed by what felt like a cheap shadow of what could have begun this generation’s version of the Harry Potter film franchise.
“Jake. Right on time. Miss Peregrine, delighted to meet you.”