Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, and even Michael Bay are all auteurs in their own rights. Directors, that when you see “From the director of”, you know what the movie will draw its influence from. Tim Burton is a well-known name among the elites of Hollywood filmmakers, especially to millennial viewers like myself.
Having a very specific art style and literally applying it to all of his movies, particularly his animated film has made Burton stand out. None can forget his timeless classic, Nightmare Before Christmas. However, what put Burton on the map and a box office draw was the 1988 film, Beetlejuice.
Over 25 years later and 35 plus director credits, Burton comes once again with a film adaptation of the popular book series; Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The kind of story that this is, is right up Burton’s alley.
The film centers on a teenager (Asa Butterfield) who discovers a clue of a mystery that spans across time, and on his quest he stumbles upon a magical place known as Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Along with learning about Miss Peregrine (Eva Green) and her peculiar residents and their special powers,he learns there is a grave danger and he has the peculiarities to protect and save these residents.
The film rides heavy on style and tone which is a Burton staple. However, where Miss P. falls is in substance. Maybe it’s just me but it’s not as involving as it could be. The narrative seems to stumble through at various points while keeping to the visuals and the darkly, quirky characters Burton is so adept to displaying.
Eva Green is stellar as the pipe smoking, crossbow wielding, shapeshifting (clue is in her name) protector of the children. I’ve found myself wanting to see more of her character. Sam Jackson is still Sam Jackson, delivering his charismatic villainous speeches, minus the language.
As auteurs go, I have to admit that I’m not a fan of his style. Not that it isn’t good because I believe it is, but it’s not something I like. Its like comparing Rembrandt to Da Vinci. While appreciating the value both have to offer, one may prefer one to another. There’s a few films of Burton that I did enjoy like Sleepy Hollow, Sweeney Todd and of course Batman. I’m just not rushing to the box office to catch any of them. Unless you are a fan of Burton, I’d give it a pass and maybe catch it on redbox. Honestly.