‘MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN’ (2016) MOVIE REVIEW – Tim Burton’s X-Men

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‘Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children’ is a Fantasy Adventure directed by Tim Burton, based off the best-selling novel and is exactly what many are calling ‘Burton’s X-Men’. The film follows Jake and his quest to uncover the mystery behind Miss Peregrine and the Peculiar Children he has heard so much about, but the further he delves into this mystery the more danger he puts himself and his new friends in. Tim Burton has done a good job directing this and his visual style shines through as potentially the star of the film. The mysterious and eerily magical tones the film expresses throughout had me very engaged and wanting to delve deeper into this worlds history and learn more about the characters. The performances from the young cast were all strong, nothing mind-blowing but nothing bad either. But although the side plots and history behind these characters are interesting, this film fails to deliver in terms of a compelling main plot that is introduced well into the film and was rather weak in the end. It also slightly struggled with whether it wanted to retain a kid friendly appeal or go the more darker route….. And the mixture of both didn’t go well.

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Burton does a fantastic job at sucking you into this world with the way he sets up the mysterious Miss Peregrine and forces you to want to learn more about this dark fantasy world. And as you gradually get thrown into this world involving ‘peculiarities’, time travel, and monsters, the rich mythology of this place had me looking forward to see where they took it. And almost half way through the film i was still intrigued, waiting for something big to happen. It took almost half of the film for the main plot to kick in with the villain of the film (Samuel L Jackson) being formally introduced way too late. His plot-line and his evil quest that forces Jake and friends to fight against him was overly complicated and wasn’t all that interesting. Jackson’s character also felt like he belonged in a different more cartoony version of this film as he didn’t fit the slightly more dark or serious tones. In a way i feel like you didn’t really need him specifically in this film, they could have let the ‘monster’ elements carry out the villainous roles alone and i feel like it would have made for a tighter more interesting story in the end.

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The uniqueness of every character in this film was really cool to see as they all have their individual personalities to go along with their powers. This diversity allowed for some very good character interactions and side plots that were way more interesting than the main plot itself. The children and performances from the children were all strong and you get to know every single one of them by the end of the film which was really well handled as usually 1 or 2 are forgotten in these ensemble casts. Eva Green also had a very interesting role and like the children had a unique character with traits you remember and is someone you are able to get behind and root for in the film. The side cast was here and there occasionally but with the leads you have, you barely recognise their importance.

But even though the progression of the plot was not engaging in the third act of the film that’s not to say that the action sequences were made any less interesting. These late scenes mostly held together the eerie tones from earlier in the film and transitioned them well into a more action oriented setting. But it really is the characters and how they have developed up until this point that makes the third act at all interesting to see.

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So in the end, Tim Burton’s X-Men is a good film with a compelling visual style, good characters and character development, and a really engaging base for a good story. Unfortunately the film loses itself in a main plot that didn’t fit in well with the rest of the film and held back the potential for this to be a really good cult classic that no-one would have seen coming. Being a Tim Burton film it isn’t a colourful, fun adventure…. there is some pretty creepy imagery in this film so whether it is suitable for kids of young ages is pretty questionable.

6/10

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