Based on the 2011 novel of the same name, “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” allowed Tim Burton the opportunity to continue his quest in to the strange and unusual areas of human development. With greats such as Bettlejuice and Batman (1989) proving Burton has what it takes to tackle the supernatural as well as Superheroes, it would seem as though this contest should theoretically be over before it has started.
Asa Butterfield stars as Jake, a quiet, inoffensive boy living in Florida with his Mom (Kim Dickens), Dad (Chris O’Dowd) and Grandfather (Terrance Stamp). After a troubling discovery, Jake realises the stories his Grandfather told him as a boy are in fact true, people with “Peculiar” qualities such as invisibility or super strength exist, and they are in serious danger. With Jake’s help, Eva Green’s Miss Peregrine and her gang of Peculiar Children try to overcome impressively dangerous odds as well as protect the lives of all of the other children around the world.
Right, got that? Nor me. For all of its charming adventures, there’s a lot of explanation that manages to confuse the story time and time again. However that isn’t the most infuriating element to this story. For all of Burton’s successes in the past, “Miss Peregrine’s Home” seemed more of a lazy amalgamation of former ideas than something truly exciting.
It seems as though these days Tim Burton has a checklist of tropes that must be used in every movie. Without such sequences it can be argued that the viewer will lose out on the typical Burton experience, however that’s just it, this is just a typical Burton film. Nothing from it’s story truly stands out as fascinating. The final act felt somewhat humdrum, the transition from reality to abnormality didn’t pass as smoothly as maybe necessary, and the interaction between Jake and his Father didn’t quite seem to add up.
All in all a fairly standard opening Round played more on the cautious side than any other.
ROUND 1 SCORE: 5/10
Round 2 – Characters
As stated before, this is a Tim Burton movie. So above all else we will be treated to wealth of smart, interesting characters with an added level of quirkiness for good measure. “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” does not disappoint on this front.
With the following list of characters available, it’s no surprise this film was developed in the way that it was:
- An aerokinetic teenager who can manipulate air and create bubbles under water
- A teenager who can resurrect the dead and bring to life inanimated objects for a limited time by placing a heart inside
- An invisible boy
- A young girl who can control and maintain plants
- A boy with bees in his stomach
ROUND 2 SCORE: 7/10
Round 3 – Overall Enjoyment
Although this was pleasing on the eye for the majority of the time, “Miss Peregrine” managed to be quite underwhelming for a very long period of time. The introduction of the titular children seems to take forever to occur, and then when it does, the story moves far too quickly to be in any way understandable.
With time loops, random names of random creatures and Samuel L. Jackson doing what he does on a daily basis as the villainous Baron it all seemed too much at too fast a pace. Sure it had its entertaining moments, but it in no way made up for the many missed steps along the way
ROUND 3 SCORE: 6/10
FINAL SCORE: MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN WINS BY DECISION 18/30
As movies go, this is by no means the worst you will see this year. Its warm, inviting and more of an interesting experience than I probably give it credit for. The only issue is that this is so quintessentially Tim Burton it may as well have had his name printed on every scene. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing the first time you see it, however after over 30 years of making movies you would have hoped for at least some development by now.