“… a disappointing film that did nothing to separate itself from the slew of kids movies that are released every year.”
The other day I went to see Peter Rabbit which is a movie I had very little interest in, but the trailers made it seem not terrible. Turns out I was tricked by those trailers becasue terrible is exactly what this movie was. Peter Rabbit follows Peter Rabbit, a rabbit named Peter who lives in the country and has to contend with an old man who wants to kill him. Peter solves this problem by murdering the old man in a fit of fury, but is then challenged when the old man’s nephew comes seeking revenge. Also he wears a little blue coat. The rabbit, not the nephew.
The trailers for Peter Rabbit made it look as though it would be a solid movie. I never expect kids movies to be amazing because they have to pander to kids, but Peter Rabbit looked like one of the good ones. You know, kids laugh at the jokes and parents can laugh at the same jokes but for different reasons. Essentially I thought Peter Rabbit would be good. And I was right in that all of the parts in the trailer were good; but unfortunately everything else was pretty terrible. Not only was it disheartening seeing the same jokes used in the trailer for what is probably the 30th time, but it was exhausting becasue the movie reused the formula for a lot of the jokes as well. So even though there were some moments that weren’t in the trailer, they might as well have been because it was the exact same thing. So the jokes were terrible, and unfortunately the story wasn’t there to save the movie. The plot of Peter Rabbit is kind of all over the place. The movie is very short, clocking in at only 100 minutes, but it felt at least twice that length. You know exactly where the movie is going from the start so there is no suspense, and becasue there are no jokes either you’re left with absolutely nothing. I will applaud the film for going to a few pretty dark places in the story and in turn creating some really mature moments; but those moments weren’t enough to save the entire film.
The best part about Peter Rabbit is easily the animation. The way the animals look in this movie is stunning. They’re cute, they’re realistic but still reminiscent of a cartoon, and they look great next to the real-life set pieces of the film. The worst part of the film however was the use of music. Kids movies often have a tendency to use whatever music is popular at the time in an effort to gain some cheap brownie points from kids. Peter Rabbit did this, but so much worse than I could have imagined. Knowing that every other kids movie does the same thing, Peter Rabbit didn’t use current catchy songs, but instead used songs that I remember hearing on the radio when I was a kid. It’s the same principle, using popular music in an effort to appeal to the audience, but Peter Rabbit decided to scrape the bottom of the barrel and invade the top 40 charts from years past. And let’s get this straight, I don’t dislike the movie becasue they used popular music, I dislike the movie becasue the way it used popular music was obviously just a way to bank on the fact that the music was popular. There was absolutely no flow to the soundtrack of Peter Rabbit, and every other scene felt like a fucking music video. And to make matters worse, you could tell that some scenes were intentionally drawn-out in order to fit the entire song in the movie. And what makes all of this even worse is the fact that some of the songs even had changed lyrics to reflect what was going on in the movie, but they still felt out of place. It was like a desperate attempt to avoid this exact criticism, but they ended up overcorrecting and landed firmly in a ditch.
Overall Peter Rabbit was a disappointing film that did nothing to separate itself from the slew of kids movies that are released every year. The story was disjointed, the jokes were spoiled in the trailers, and the musical choices were contrived and an obvious attempt to garner points from children. The only thing the movie had going for it was the animation, but unfortunately that isn’t enough.
I give Peter Rabbit a D