Director: Will Gluck (Annie)
Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Rose Byrne, James Corden, and Daisy Ridley
REVIEWER: Lyall Carter
A feature adaptation of the beloved Beatrix Potter classic, Peter Rabbit attempts to return Mr. McGregor's garden to his animal pals.
You know a kid’s film is in trouble when thirty minutes in all the children present are running up and down the aisles completely disengaged from the film. Although Peter Rabbit starts off with great energy and in a cute and whimsical fashion there is only so many types of ways that rabbits can raid a garden for an hour and a half (so no wonder why the children were so distracted.)
The English countryside looks superb and the CGI animals, for the most part, look completely realistic although not quiet at the level of Paddington. Rose Byrne is her usual delightful self as Bea, an artist who cares for Peter and his rabbit family and falls rather fast and unconvincingly for Gleeson’s Thomas McGregor, hater of all furry creatures. Domnhall Gleeson is great except for the zanier moments when he completely hams it up.
Unfortunately, it’s the story that lets down the animals and humans alike. The story is highly repetitive, doesn’t make a lot of sense or have a lot of depth, and the humour barely raises a titter from adults or children. The filmmakers seemed to think that if they had some cute creatures running about on the screen that children would not only be entertained but that would make up for the lack of story. Children deserve both. The film makers clearly haven’t seen Coco or Paddington 2.
Cute, rascally animals and beautiful countryside don’t make up for a weak story that will leave both children and adults wanting more.