I read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children more than a year ago, and I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. I have a review on it if you'd like to check it out before reading my thoughts on the movie adaptation. After watching the teasers and the trailers, I realized that this movie would probably not be a very good adaptation. But I still had a flicker of hope that it wouldn't be a total failure.
The movie is about Jacob, as he goes on a journey to find the mysterious children's home that his grandfather used to live in when he was younger. Jake finds out that the stories that his grandfather told him were real, and the children that lived in the house had special powers, or peculiarities, like super strength, invisibility, and the ability to bring life to someone or something for a short time. What Jake wasn't expecting was to find that the kids are still alive, and in incredible danger, and Jake is the only one who can help them.
My favourite part of this movie was the setting. The island where the house is situated, is exactly like what I had imagined, and the house was beautiful and magical, like in the books. Some, although not quite all, of the characters were just as I had pictured them to be, and the actors did a great job in portraying them. Particularly Millard, Fiona, Bronwyn, Claire, and the twins. Asa Butterfield wasn't as bad as I thought he would be for the role, but he still didn't embody Jake as well as he could've. Although I hate that Emma's and Olive's powers were switched (something that Tim Burton decided to do to so that the plot would work better), it is definitely not the worse thing in the film. Ella Purnell did a decent job in bringing Emma's personality to life, it wasn't her fault that the character wasn't well depicted. Other characters' ages were pumped up, like Olive and Enoch, to add feelings like jealousy and romance to the plot. In my opinion, the actress who played Olive looked to old for the way she was acting. In the book she's about five years old if I remember correctly, and she's absolutely adorable. I wish she was kept like that in the movie.
I was expecting Eva Green to be a great Miss Peregrine, since Burton called her a 'scary Mary Poppins', but instead, she was something else entirely. Not like Miss Peregrine. She is supposed to be scary but in a cool way, and she loves the children. In the movie she was extremely theatrical and would change moods so quickly for no apparent reason. She was also too young. The main Wight villain, Barrow, was played by Samuel L. Jackson, and instead of being scary, he was trying too hard to be funny. There were so many out of place lines in this movie, it was ridiculous. The book has a creepy feeling to it, and I wish the movie had it too, but unfortunately it felt more childish that serious.
Now let's talk about the fact that the second half of the movie is not from the book at all! I'm pretty sure I spent the entire movie turning to my friend (who has read the book as well) and repeating how confused I was. For some reason, the characters had to go to this whole other place to rescue Miss Peregrine, and there were a bunch of wights and hollows (which are huge in the movie by the way), and they were in this amusement park, and I don't wanna spoil you, but I gotta say, the most ridiculous thing that could've happened happened.
I know this review is all over the place, but it's mainly because I was (and still am) very confused. I understand that movies can't be exact replicas of the books, but they certainly can do the best they can to make it similar. And for some reason, this movie was completely different. If you've read the book, I recommend you to watch it just so you understand what I'm talking about. And trust me, it will make you cringe and laugh because it's just so terrible, there's nothing else you can do.
THERE ARE SPOILERS UNDER THE PICTURE. DON'T READ IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE.
- Very theatrical.
- Skeleton war.
- Everyone already loves Jake after knowing him for ten minutes.
- Instant love between Emma and Jake.
- The whole second part of the movie.
- Horace's awkward dream of Emma and Jake kissing
- Emma has magical shoes that she never loses even when she drops them in random places.
- Awkward eyeball animation.
- Barrow's shapeshifting hand.
- The Wight who is also an animal hybrid.
- "and then I joined the navy."
- Jake is too chill the whole time.
- Hollow chalk outline.
- And many others...