Tim Burton strikes me as a pretty peculiar man so he was the right fit for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, a film based on the novel of the same name by Ransom Riggs. Burton has disappointed me recently and I haven’t really enjoyed one of his films since Sleepy Hollow back in 1999.
Jake Portman (Asa Butterfield) is a boy who doesn’t really have anyone close to him, except for his grandfather. When tragedy strikes at home and Jake is left feeling more alone than ever, he goes on a journey to Wales to find out if there was any truth to the fairytales he was told by his grandfather as a child.
Stumbling across Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, that his grandfather visited regularly when fighting in the war, Jake soon meets its inhabitants and Miss Peregrine (Eva Green) herself. Hearing her speak of the danger the the children could be in, Jake makes a connection between that danger and the cause of the tragedy at home.
This is very much a family film however, where I think it will lose both adult and child audience members is the fact that it really is quite a boring story told in such a dull way. Tim Burton has made fantasy films before but there is no sense of awe or wonder as there was in something like Edward Scissorhands.
The screenplay from Jane Goldman is massively disappointing considering the work she’s done on the likes of Kick-Ass and Kingsman in recent years. I enjoyed some of the film but for large parts I was bored thanks to some incredibly drab characters.
The film certainly has a visual appeal but even that was ruined by a final act that descended into utter stupidity. Up until then, I thought the effects were really quite good. Then came the moment a crew of skeletons fend off the enemy creatures from the children. All I will say is that the skeletons in Jason and the Argonauts looked better.
Coming to the performances, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children makes a massive error in having Asa Butterfield in the lead role. He hasn’t done much of note in his career so far and I just found him so bland in this film. Samuel L. Jackson’s villainous turn is just laughable but the film’s biggest crime was not having enough Eva Green, an actress who would have done the film a massive favour.
The use of time travel is something that hindered the film for me as well. Events towards the end don’t get explained very well at all, leading to utter confusion as the film drew to a close. I’m sure I won’t be the only one who thought so. Overall, this is just a totally forgettable film from Tim Burton.
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