First and foremost, let me just say that it is rather refreshing to have seen a Tim Burton film that didn’t have Johnny Depp in it. Taking nothing away from his acting ability, Burton just needed to learn that there were other actors out there. Anyway, when I heard that there was going to be a movie version of a book that I really enjoyed I was quite excited. The book trilogy, Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, that the film is based on was written by Ransom Riggs and was an incredibly unique story that I had never read before.
It follows the story of a young boy who is thrust into a world of children who are “peculiar,” meaning that they have some kind of special ability. Now, this isn’t some kind of superhero movie because the powers aren’t exactly cliché like in comics. With children who can bring things to life, control plants, shoot bees out of their mouths, and float uncontrollably, they aren’t what you would expect. This young boy, Jake, finds out about these children from his grandfather and goes on an adventure to find them and eventually help save them when the villains arrive. The villains are called Hollows, creatures that seek to capture, and eat, peculiar children in order to change back from their monstrous appearances. They are led by Samuel L. Jackson’s character who also wants to capture Miss Peregrine and her kind in order to use their powers to become powerful himself.
As far as the movie goes it obviously deviates from the book in order to meet time restraints and so it is better to view the film as “based” on the book and not as a full adaptation. The movie as a whole was good, but not overwhelmingly so. It seemed almost too ambitious of a project. The story, though great, is not easy to follow without all the little details and time that the book has. The movie comes across to those who have no prior knowledge as confusing and almost a little too weird (odd to say that in today’s world, but still). The characters are fascinating and the actors portray them well, but they tried to nonchalantly address each of the children’s powers and it served to only throw the audience off: ‘Oh yeah, by the way, this kid has actual bees inside him that shoot out of his mouth. No big deal.’ Wrong, VERY big deal. As far as viewing it, it is a PG movie but there are several rather freaky and sometimes frightening moments in the movie that add to the overall effect, so be aware of that when taking children to it. I do recommend seeing it simply because it is an interesting and unique story that hasn’t been shown before. But, the best thing to do is read the books as well as see the movie. Get the full experience and enjoy a peculiar story.