Thumbs up or thumbs down? Simple spolier free reviews.
Peter Rabbit is a 2018 live-action/computer-animated children’s comedy film based on the stories of Peter Rabbit created by Beatrix Potter. The film stars Domhnall Gleeson and Rose Byrne with the voices of James Corden, Daisy Ridley, Margot Robbie and Elizabeth Debicki. The story follows Peter Rabbit, his three sisters, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-Tail, and their cousin Benjamin Bunny, enjoy spending their days raiding Mr. McGregor’s vegetable garden. When one of McGregor’s relatives suddenly moves in, he’s less than thrilled to discover a family of rabbits in his new home. A battle of wills soon breaks out as the new owner hatches scheme after scheme to get rid of Peter — a resourceful rabbit who proves to be a worthy and wily opponent.
This modern take on Peter Rabbit makes for an enjoyable yet frustrating children’s film, although I imagine that all of the frustration will be coming from adults rather than children! I don’t remember Peter being such an arrogant character, who skirts on the line of being too annoying, and sometimes a bit of a bully. In the end he does learn to be less of a brat though, so that’s nice. I’m not sure if the role was written specially with James Corden in mind or he just made the role his own but I imagine this will either be a positive or negative for some people. He seems to split the crowd. Personally I wouldn’t consider myself a fan, but I didn’t mind him too much either. Quite frankly though this is a funny film and as there are enough jokes for all ages to enjoy it kept the entire audience chuckling and entertained throughout.
Domhnall Gleeson and Rose Byrne are the stars of the show however. I found myself really rooting for them. They were really cute together and watching McGregor become more relaxed throughout the film, only to be wound up by Peter and friends again, was very fun.
FUN FACT: As a child I used to root for Mr McGregor (much to my Mother’s dismay!) whenever I read/was read these books. I found myself doing the same thing here but with probably slightly more justification. The more things change the more things stay the same I suppose?
Like I said, this is a funny film but there were a few jokes, specifically the ones about food allergies, that I didn’t think really it with the tone of the film. When allergies where first mentioned, I thought it was a little bizarre for such a thing to be brought up in a kids film. Out of place but amusing none the less. When the topic arises again and an actual EpiPen is needed, I was actually astounded. It was weird and I couldn’t figure out what the writers were going for or what they were thinking. I don’t think anything was malicious meant by the jokes but they just weren’t very good. Interestingly Sony have actually apologised for everything so I suppose the online backlash worked.
Some critics have said that this version of Peter Rabbit is too far away from the original and that Beatrix Potter would be ‘turning in her grave’ at the thought of it. Two things on this though, firstly the incredibly protective Beatrix Potter estate signed off on the film being made so they must have been okay with it. Secondly, my girlfriend loves Peter Rabbit and she really enjoyed this film and I imagine she is not alone. So who cares if it’s a new modern take?
Ultimately you have to judge the success of a children’s film on the reaction of the children, but everyone who was in my screening seemed to love it. No matter their age. So controversy and criticisms aside, it has to be a thumbs up!
Verdict: Thumbs Up
Also as a side note, not about the film but about humanity in general. If you are the sort of parent or guardian who lets your children run around during a film, kids film or otherwise, you are an incredibly selfish and quite frankly bad person.