Director: Will Gluck
Starring: James Corden, Rose Byrne
3.5 (Out Of 5) Globes
Plot: Peter Rabbit (James Corden) is a mischievous bunny that goes into the garden of the cantankerous Mr. McGregor (Sam Neill) on a daily basis to steal his vegetables. So when Mr. McGregor suddenly dies Peter and his sisters Cotton-Tail (Daisy Ridley), Flopsy (MargotT Robbie), Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki) celebrate victory, and claim his house as their own.
That only unleashes their most formidable foe yet, though, in the form of his distant nephew Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson). Thomas originally heads to Windermere just to sell the country home, but quickly develops feelings for Peter’s owner Bea (Rose Byrne), which only makes the rivalry between Thomas and Peter much more complicated.
Review: There are two ways to look at "Peter Rabbit."
There will be die-hard Beatrix Potter fans that can’t forgive the film for creating such a bastardization version of the cherished gentle character that is immediately at odds with the seminal source material.
Then there will be those that quickly forgive co-writer and director Will Gluck and Sony for taking such an approach and embrace the constant silliness and slapstick humor that produces a bountiful of laughs. Albeit they're mostly the ones that you can't help but groan at, too. But a laugh is still a laugh.
I’m firmly in the latter camp, as "Peter Rabbit" is a film of such pace and verve, with joke after joke arriving one after another, that you quickly become swept up in it.
Rose Byrne is perfectly cast as Bea, bringing an immediate charm that is needed considering the energy of the film, while Domhnall Gleeson shows an adeptness for comedy, hamming it up when necessary as the villainous Mr McGregor, gallantly throwing himself into physical gags, and leaving just enough so that you still root for him, too.
But it is the vocal performance of James Corden that really allows "Peter Rabbit" to soar. Corden lands each gag and quip, before hopping onto the next one, seemingly without taking a breath, while he also adds a warmth and even an arrogance that makes Peter Rabbit stand-out. All of which he achieves without ever annoying.
Ultimately, though, "Peter Rabbit" is a tad too hollow, and doesn’t come close to touching, being overly original or really that memorable. In fact, it is nothing more than a good time for all the family. Which, considering that’s all it clearly wants to be, means it pleasantly delivers.