Asa Butterfield as Jake
Eva Green as Miss Peregrine
Samuel L. Jackson as Barron
Judi Dench as Miss Avacet
Ella Purnell as Emma Bloom
In recent years director, Tim Burton’s films have been on or off the mark. Those familiar with his works know his interests include giving viewers tales of ghosts, monsters, nightmarish themed content, and anything that sparks the imagination. His previous works are thought to be stronger than the films he’s work on including Frankenweenie, Dark Shadows, and Alice and Wonderland. His latest film, Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children, may be considered another example.
A 16-year old misfit from Florida named Jacob is the lead character in Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children. The story is an adaptation of the 2011 debut novel of Ransom Rigg. The teen struggles to deal with the passing of his grandfather. The teen’s therapist, Dr. Nolan, suggests the boy’s parents let him visit his grandfather’s birthplace of Wales to gain closure. When the boy arrives he learns more than what he was there for in the first place. The new details lead the teen to a magical journey changing his life permanently.
Movie based on a book
Since this was based on a book, some feel they would expect the film version to be better. There were elements pulled from the novel such as archival content and early photos, incorporated under screenwriting credentials of Burton and Jane Goldman. The items were used by the teen’s grandfather to tell tall tales about children with peculiar abilities and monsters. This information along with map details creating a hunt for treasure.
Throughout the hunt, small details about Jacob are revealed. The details are information Jacob never knew before. There is also a story about coming of age. The original storyline from Rigg was included but how characters transition from one point to the next seemed a little unclear.
Screenwriter Jane Goldman has collaborated with a number of actors and directors on films such as Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, and Kingsman: The Secret Service with Matthew Vaughn. Even though these were successful her work with them may have been Miss Peregrine’s problem as far as the script is concerned.
There seems to be a lack of flow and connection with the dialogue in the beginning. How the lines are read is like listening to a robot. In some cases, they didn’t seem to engage as well as it should have to the characters played by Asa Butterfield, Ella Purnell, Eva Green, and Samuel L. Jackson, even though their performances were good. Moments of climax in the film seem to miss the mark due to poor script structure, leaving viewers disappointed when the movie ended.
Burton does get creative with collaborations and uses it to tap into unique visual concepts. An example includes work done on his films Big Eyes and Dark Shadows with cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel. This work captured mystical elements gracefully. Costumes designed by Colleen Atwood have been praised as mesmerizing with bold colors that filmed well catching viewers eyes. Miss Peregrine’s technical elements were intriguing while making up for the story’s faulty ending.
There we questions left unanswered about whereabouts of the characters when the movie ended. Overall, the film had exceptional visuals to help make up for lack of emotion and climatic script. It is a movie to consider viewing.