‘Miss Peregrine’ review – Burton has lost the plot

Burton’s latest offering left me feeling as confused as ‘sandy claws’ (Santa Claus) in The Nightmare Before Christmas when he wakes up in Halloween town.

Based on Ransom Riggs’s bestselling novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Tim Burton’s interpretation is rather calamitous to say the least. Lacking in plotline and thrills, Burton’s latest adventure left us all befuddled, his twisted genius for storytelling severely diminished and replaced by a cobbled together amalgamation of already existing ideas.

The cinematic lovechild of Burton’s ingenuity and Riggs’s quirky novel should be more than just a regurgitation of X-men. It should be expressing the same cinematic prowess of Burton’s other literary inspired films, like his 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The characters so perfectly honed by Riggs in the novel feel stale in comparison. Asa Butterfield (of Scorsese’s Hugo) stars as male lead Jake Portman. Unfortunately even veterans of the silver screen, Dame Judy Dench and Samuel L Jackson, can’t save us from Butterfield’s mediocre acting.

The constant explanatory dialogue present throughout hinders the flow of the film. Additionally, the tired storyline of boy-meets-girl in the form of Jake and Emma the lighter-than-air Peculiar (Ella Purnell), failed to reach new heights.

One of the more enjoyable parts of Miss Peregrine was seeing the titular ‘Peculiar Children’ on screen. Herded together like a bunch of Addam’s family rejects, the quirky children reflect Burton’s former glory. New muse Eva Green stars as Miss Peregrine, a role that I feel might have been better suited to the talents of Miss Helena Bonham Carter.

In conclusion, Burton’s latest is unfortunately a wasted opportunity; I’ve simply seen it all before. I yearn for Burton’s return to his dark stop-motion roots as exampled in his original short Vincent (1982).

Danica Johnson

(Images courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox)

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