This was another film that I did not want to see. The trailer made this film look so crappy that I had zero anticipation for it and almost skipped it. But the chance of having the ultimate double feature (Fifty Shades Freed and Peter Rabbit) got me into the theater. Plus, the Paddington trailers looked terrible as well and both of those movies are gold, so could the same thing happen for Peter Rabbit?
Eh.. not so much. It was okay.
I will say that if you are 10 years old or under, this is probably going to be a great time at the theater, and in that case, it reaches what is its target audience and that should make it a success. I would even say that the parents can sit through this with their kids without wanting to tear out their eyes.
This film is based on the children’s series by Beatrix Potter. Peter Rabbit (James Corden) and his family of rascally rabbits are trying to steal vegetables from the garden of Old Mr. McGregor (Sam Neill), when the old man died of a heart attack. A relative named Thomas (Domhnall Gleeson) takes over the garden and picks up in a rivalry with the clever creatures. The neighbor Bea (Rose Byrne) loves the rabbits, tries unsuccessfully to paint, and falls for the new McGregor. Peter became jealous of the attention Bea gives Thomas and swears that he must go.
So,yes, Peter Rabbit is a giant asshole.
The film is reasonably fun. It has about three or four running jokes that they string together throughout the entire film that work, at least initially. The CGI is extremely well done as these rabbit appear to be real creatures.
There is some good chemistry between Gleeson and Byrne and because of that, you want to root for Gleeson to turn away from his crazed ways and embrace the good side. Of course, one could argue that Peter drove him to do everything that he does.
It did feel pretty long and the story was definitely paint by the numbers predictable, but that does not hurt when the target audience is in the single digits of age. It moved from scene to scene quickly and had enough heart to be charming.
Yes, the running jokes were driven into the ground. Yes, the main characters are both jerks. Still there is enough for children here and it is not the worst time at the theater for an adult. It certainly hit what it was intending to do. Paddington is still 100% better, but you could do way worse than Peter Rabbit.