Peter Rabbit is a 2018 adventure comedy film based on a children’s book by Beatrix Potter and is directed by Will Gluck. It follows the life of a mischievous band of orphaned rabbits in Peter (James Corden) and his triplet sisters in Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki) and Cottontail (Daisy Ridley) who time and time again steal vegetables from an old man’s garden but eventually get away with their kleptomaniac ways by either escaping to their subterranean home or being saved by their part-time caretaker Bea (Rose Byrne).
This live adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s book clearly goes against some of the original material and the intention is clear; to twist and turn certain plot-points so that people who read the book don’t come into this movie thinking that they will have the ability to predict the eventual happenings. That said, let’s look into the cast performances. One thing I love about Hollywood is that certain actors who performed and/or were involved in abysmal projects in the past are almost certainly assured of a second chance in another similar project and in most cases, the actors in question redeem themselves well. Take for instance Ryan Reynolds, he was horrible as the power-ring wielding superhero Green Lantern in that 2011 atrocity but now he is rocking the Deadpool character exceptionally. In Peter Rabbit, we see James Corden recoup himself from last year’s profoundly bad Emoji Movie; his role as Peter here is great. He gets into a lot of trouble, he together with his siblings put their lives on the line as many times as they can in the name of vegetables. One reason I liked this plot-point is that the rabbits are orphaned, they don’t have people to fend for them so they have to fend for themselves in any way possible, even if it means stealing which to them, is viewed as more of an adventurous undertaking rather than one that puts them in jeopardy. Rose Bryne is also very good as Bea. She is kind, she is compassionate and she is a figure that the rabbits look up to as their protector; the latter is sure to make you more inclined to emotionally invest in her character. Domhnall Gleeson is also in this movie and plays Mr. Thomas Mcgregor; he is by no means subtle, he has an explosive demeanour and finally, his character development is done very well.
Notwithstanding, I do have some concerns with this movie. The cast here is star-studded, there is no question about that, but it just doesn’t show. If Will Gluck and his team were more of the point of not entirely sticking to the source material, then they should have at least given Peter’s siblings more purpose than they eventually got; taking into account that they are played by revered actors who include among others, Daisy Ridley and Elizabeth Debicki. The latter’s performances were in my eyes, swallowed by the fact that the movie primarily focuses on James Corden’s character. The film could have done way better as far as the plot is concerned if it took a considerable portion of the runtime to delve deeper into the lives of all the rabbits, and all the aspects of their struggles as orphans and not necessarily about them stealing from a neighbouring house. Additionally, the music placements in this photoplay are extensively fallacious; I honestly got the impression that Sony Pictures wanted to explore other ways to get as much as they could out of this movie from a monetary standpoint just in case the movie didn’t sell as they expected in the Box Office.
Summarily, putting aside the flaws that this film possesses, I can indeed affirm that I found Peter Rabbit enjoyable. The dialogue is engaging, the comedic moments are laughable, the production design is awesome and the cinematography is fairly appealing. I also loved that Gluck opted for CGI as opposed to the ‘Space Jam’ rip-off animation route that the movie could have possibly taken as far as the rabbits are concerned.