Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Director: Tim Burton
Writer: Jane Goldman
Based on: Ransom Rigg’s Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children trilogy
Cast: Asa ButterfieldElla PurnellFinlay MacMillanLauren McCrostieHayden Keeler-StoneGeorgia PembertonMilo ParkerRaffiella ChapmanEva GreenSamuel L. JacksonJudi DenchRupert EverettAllison JanneyChris O’DowdTerence Stamp,
Seen on: 5.11.2016

Jacob (Asa Butterfield) has always been very close to his grandfather Abe (Terence Stamp) who told him all kinds of stories of his childhood in an orphanage led by Miss Peregrine (Eva Green), among children that all had very special gifts. Only as Jacob grew older, he stopped believing in those stories. Then his grandfather is attacked and Jacob sees a strange monster that nobody else is able to see. He is unsettled, to say the least and convinces his father (Chris O’Dowd) to head to Cairnholm, the island where his grandfather’s orphanage was, to find out more about his past and to hopefully be able to separate fact from fiction.

I read the first book of the trilogy and I wasn’t all that enthusiastic about it, so I didn’t have high expectations about this film. And rightly so. Miss Peregrine’s Home is a decidedly mediocre affair with the best thing about it that they actually finish the story and are obviously not banking on an entire trilogy of films.

The star power and the people in supporting roles here are pretty damn amazing. Unfortunately, they were all really wasted. Only Eva Green got enough screen time and enough role to perform to really shine (but then she usually does). But neither the star power, nor the nice aesthetics of the film could hide the fact that there are plot holes the size of galaxies in it.

The things that puzzled me the most: how come everything outside the time loop ages but Jake doesn’t get any young when he goes back in time? How come nobody has a problem with Abe setting up his ex-girlfriend with his grandson? Did Emma really have to trade powers with Olive (compared to the book) just so she’d fit the Burton girl trope better?

I’m happy that I won’t have to read the remaining two books and still got an ending. Because there is so little plot in this film (and it isn’t long) that I wonder if they just cut everything from the remaining books or if there wasn’t anymore plot there to begin with. In any case, despite packaging two books into the second half of the film, the film does have considerable lengths.

Altogether it just felt like a rather soulless affair to me. It wasn’t bad per se. Everybody showed up and did their job well. But it didn’t feel like anybody particularly enjoyed what they’re doing here or was even remotely interested in it. And that is never a good sign for a film.

Summarizing: Does not need to be seen but you could watch worse things.

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