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Peter Rabbit (PG)




Peter Rabbit (PG)
Film Reviews by Amy Diaz

02/15/18
By Amy Diaz adiaz@hippopress.com



It’s man versus rabbit in Peter Rabbit, a live-action movie with CGI animals, loosely based on the Beatrix Potter stories.
Since Peter Rabbit’s (voice of James Corden) mother died, human Bea (Rose Byrne) has cared for him and his sisters — Flopsy (voice of Margot Robbie), Mopsy (voice of Elizabeth Debicki) and Cotton-Tail (voice of Daisy Ridley) — and their cousin, Benjamin Bunny (voice of Colin Moody), who live under a tree near her house. Also nearby is the well-tended garden of mean old Mr. McGregor (Sam Neill), he of “put Peter’s father into a pie” fame. Peter still regularly raids the garden for fruits and vegetables, even getting caught by McGregor himself. Peter gets lucky, though, and before he can put Peter in a pie, McGregor has a massive heart attack and dies.
What fun, kids!
For a while, Peter and his friends have the run of the garden. But then Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson), old Mr. McGregor’s heir, shows up. He has no interest in gardening and plans to sell the property. But then he meets Bea, and suddenly he likes the country a little more.
This is a very weird movie. On the one hand, it is your standard average-or-slightly-below kids movie that rat-a-tats with the jokes and has a little too much wacky humor with a pop-rock soundtrack. It also has a lot of talking and a surprising amount of death and attempted murder (McGregors on wildlife, wildlife on both McGregors).
On the other hand, I laughed out loud, several times. The relationship between Bea and Thomas is strange and delightful. At times this movie feels more rom-com than kid fare. 
Gleeson frequently executes some top-notch comic delivery. It’s like his direction was “General Hux from the Star Wars movies but bonkers-ier!” And it’s great! I don’t know if it’s kids-movie great but it is “what am I watching, this is nuts!” great. 
James Corden does a fine job as Peter’s voice. Just when he starts to feel like some late-aughts DreamWorks Animation character, he’ll hit a good bit of timing or give a line that little extra something. And Byrne is good at oddball. Bea, a painter of weird art and a close friend to jacket-wearing rabbits, is not so much more normal than McGregor, and Byrne lets that note of weirdness come through. B
Rated PG for rude humor and action, according to the MPAA. Directed by Will Gluck with a screenplay by Rob Lieber and Will Gluck, Peter Rabbit is an hour and 33 minutes long and distributed by Columbia Pictures. 
 





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