Trust celebrated director Tim Burton to bring an imaginary world to the big screen in the most spectacular way possible.
With Samuel L. Jackson (playing Barron) again playing a villain, in tow, the moviemaker has taken the classic Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children into that dream space in which imagination is the order of the day. The film is based on Ransom Riggs’s bestselling novel of the same name.
The flick follows misfit teenager Jake Portman (Asa Butterfield), whose life is turned upside down after his grandfather Abraham (Terence Stamp), who is known for telling stories that are more like figments of his imagination and said to be schizophrenic, is murdered. Following the last whispers of his grandfather, Jake then travels to Wales to try to make sense of his grandfather’s last messages and figure out what led to his death.
Traveling with his not so thrilled dad (Chris O’Dowd), at the behest of his therapist Dr Golan (Allison Janney) following the events, Jake has a map that leads him to a ruined old house on the tiny island of Cairnholm. This is the orphanage that his now late grandpa attended as a child, fleeing from Poland and the advance of the Nazis.
Before he knows it, a time-loop transports Jake back to a fateful day in 1943 and lands him outside a home that is populated by strange children known as “peculiars”. The peculiars are kept safe by their astute, fearless and pipe-smoking protector Miss Peregrine (Eva Green), who can transform herself into a peregrine falcon.
The peculiar children have superpowers that range from invisibility to the gift of encouraging rapid growth in some amazing root vegetables. Emma (Ella Purnell), whom Jake falls for, is lighter than air, wearing heavy metal platform boots to prevent her simply floating away. There is also a young girl who can demolish chicken using the mouth cunningly hidden in the back of her head, and extraordinary powers.
With time continuously reset to maintain the status quo, and the kids remaining young in perpetuity, they all have to avoid the attack of the bomb dropping Germans to preserve the home, and also deal with the nasty Barron, who is hunting the orphans, and seems to be immune to their powers, but Miss Peregrine’s.
How long can they avoid falling prey to him and his giant monsters? One thing leads to another, and boom, this lot are thrown into the real world, and the human race is under attack, as the movie moves into overdrive.
What needs to be done to save the situation, and preserve the present and life as we know it? Review by Mandla Motau