Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

by | Oct 2, 2016 | 0 comments

A Perfect Pairing of Story and Director Which Derails in Its Final Moments

Tim Burton has been criticized for hitting a bit of a roadblock in his directing choices recently. I really enjoyed his last film Big Eyes; it was a noble effort of restraining his abstract manner and returning to a simpler storytelling style. But Burton has moved back into his old ways with the adaptation of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Miss Peregrine is adapted from the YA book series, where children with strange abilities live in secluded homes. Our particular story centers on a seemingly ordinary kid named Jake (Asa Butterfield) who lives in Florida. Jake is very close with his grandfather (played by Terrence Stamp), who tells him stories of the children’s home he used to go to in Wales, where his classmates seemingly had powers. After a tragic event, Jake goes to Wales to visit this home; there he stumbles onto his grandfather’s classmates who seem to have not aged a day. They take Jake through a portal to the home in 1943, where he meets the guardian of the children called Miss Peregrine (a great Eva Green, as always). Here Jake discovers a completely unknown world to him where children have the abilities to burn things with their hands, have mouths out of the back of their head, or are so light that they have to wear lead shoes to avoid floating away. The story then evolves into a generic blockbuster when the evil villain seeking immortality (Samuel L. Jackson) steps into the limelight.

I really enjoyed the film up until Jackson entered the story; before it had been this incredibly aweing story of a hidden world that Burton relished and it mixed with his directing style beautifully. We fall in love with all of the characters, who are headlined by very competent young actors (Ella Purnell amongst the most prominent). However, I was saddened when I saw the story spin out of control, almost as if a new director took the reins in the last quarter of the film. And while the action sequences were enjoyable (a fighting troop of skeletons against slenderman-like monsters was one of my favorites), they were littered with predictable outcomes and terrible one-liners.

The film does leave the ending open-ended with the possible hope of sequels, and I have to say that I would look forward to a second part. The characters were incredibly lovable and investing, and the world is one I look forward to further exploring. Overall I think this is another good step forward for Burton after Big Eyes in rediscovering his incredibly unique tone in cinema. 

  • OVERALL MOVIE RATING 69% 69%

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What is your favorite Eva Green performance? Let me know in the comments section.

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