MovieBob Reviews PETER RABBIT 2018

first_imgStay on target Is Peter Rabbit good?Guess.I’m going to say it is not.Good guess.What’s it about?Several rabbits repeatedly attempt to steal vegetables from the garden of an English farmer who would rather they did not.Really?No, that’s what the books were about.So what did they add to pad it out to a movie?A lot. As it, unfortunately, turns out. In this version Peter, Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Benjamin Bunny are orphans getting by on covert missions to steal food from Farmer MacGregor’s garden. It’s a situation that changes when the farmer suffers a fatal heart attack in the midst of a confrontation, and Peter attempts to pass himself off as a kind of giant-killer who turns the newly-liberated farmstead over to the local animals. But then it turns out the farm has been inherited by MacGregor’s nephew (played by Domnhall Gleeson) who wants to fix it up and sell it, touching off a conflict that quickly comes to involve slapstick battles built around electrified fences and dynamite.…oh.Also, there’s a love triangle.What, with the rabbits?No, between Peter, MacGregor and their lady neighbor (Rose Byrne.)…what?See, Rose Byrne is playing this animal-loving artist lady who lives in the next house over, is protective of Peter and the other animals, thinks they should be allowed to come and go from the gardens as they please. The land really belongs to everybody and keeps trying to talk MacGregor out of building up and electrifying his border-walls especially since he doesn’t really care about the garden and just wants to make it look nice so he can sell it but th-Wow, really subtle on the message front, huh?And doubtlessly well-intentioned, too, but… yeah. It feels like they’re trying to borrow the “metaphor for immigration/migrant-rights” angle that worked so well for the Paddington movies – but without the talent or the understanding that it works because Paddington was kind of always about the immigrant experience in England.In any case, the two humans start to fall for each other which could maybe work out okay for the animals since she might change his mind about stuff, but Peter get’s jealous because he’s nursing a quasi-oedipal crush on her…Now you’re just reading too much into it.No, that’s not an editorial on my part: Peter’s literal motivation here is that he wants her affection all to himself because he misses his mother.I really, truly hate everything you’re saying right now…Yeah. So Peter escalates the conflict to the point where things go tragically out of control so that they can both ultimately learn a lesson. But not before the plot evolves to feature a walking tour of London, a training montage set to a reworded cover of “Remember The Name” sung by pigeons, a dynamite bombing plot, and questions over who was holding a detonator and whether rabbits can operate such a device. Really.Stop it.Also Byrne’s character is named “Bea,” and we see her painting the illustrations from the original Peter Rabbit books so it feels like she’s actually meant to actually be Beatrix Potter…. But she’s not because this takes place in the present so it feels like that might’ve been part of an earlier screenplay they forgot to take out.Is anything or anyone good in it?Not really, though it turns out Gleeson is actually really good at physical comedy – it’s wasted because his character is ill-defined and the rest of the movie is terrible, but he sells the hell out of getting his ass constantly kicked and it goes well with his seemingly-innate sniveling punch-ability. I’d much rather this was just a movie about him repeatedly failing to repair a country house (like an English countryside version of The Money Pit) than an attempt at a Peter Rabbit movie.Wait – who plays Peter?James Corden.Oof! Next time, just say that upfront.Sorry. MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ last_img read more