It’s always difficult to write these kinds of reviews especially when I spent some considerable time earlier this week talking about critics who only skewer popular movies. The unfortunate reality is that popular or anticipated does not always mean good. In the effort of full disclosure, I have begun to completely lose interest in the YA genre of both books and movies so if you are a fan of the genre and think I am being unfair, you have my permission to stop reading. This, of course, was all to set up the fact that I really did not enjoy Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
There were really so many things wrong with this film but just a handful that dragged it down so far that I literally rolled my eyes at parts. I was going to try to save this until the end but it seems impossible to talk about anything else that hurt this movie more than the Hayden Christensen-esque performance of Asa Butterfield. Every delivery was dry, either he or his character did not seem to have a personality, and when it came to the point where his character was important to the plot (about an hour into the movie) he didn’t really seem to care. I don’t like panning an actor but while the other kids were wonderful in this film, every time he opened his mouth the entire movie was dragged down.
I would usually spend the first paragraph explaining the plot but I honestly can’t remember most of it. I was thinking back to other movies that I enjoyed where the protagonist was a young kid who has the weight of the world thrust on him and I kept coming back to Harry Potter. In Sorcerer’s Stone we meet Harry, learn about magic and the fact that Harry is a wizard, and are told about the horror that is Voldemort within the first thirty minutes. In Miss Peregrine, the hero finds out about his ability, which is to see invisible monsters that aren’t really that invisible and also can’t see each other for some reason, and the villains who are trying to steal some people’s peculiarities by shocking themselves (?), after about an hour and a half.
I could go on about the ridiculous premise of the movie or the fact that all of the adult actors looked like they filmed their parts over a weekend but there’s no need as it I believe I have made my feelings pretty clear. From start to finish I did not enjoy this movie. I keep reading things about Tim Burton bringing his “classic style” but I wonder how much involvement Burton had in this film. It seemed like several different movies poorly edited into an overly long mess. If you are a fan of the books I’m sure you will enjoy seeing these characters brought to life but for everyone else, I would skip it.