Jacob ‘Jake’ Portman was born with a peculiar gift of the supernatural variety. When he was a little boy, his grandfather Abe (Stamp) would, over the course of bedtime stories, hint at a world hitherto undiscovered to Jacob, where his gift could be of use. As a young man, Jacob heads out to Wales on vacation with his dad, and discovers a hidden realm with other gifted children that spans the boundaries of time. But along with mystery and discovery, comes danger, too.
We’ve seen Eva Green (who is Miss Peregrine) in various roles over the years. Most notably as Vesper Lind in Quantum of Solace, Isabelle in The Dreamers and Ava in Sin City. Here, her character is undoubtedly the heaviest on theatrics, a stiff Brit accent and plenty of Gothic charm. You can tell that she most likely had a ball of a time playing Peregrine.
She has the ability to manipulate time and also quite handily, to change form into a peregrine falcon. Each of the kids she takes care of has their own cool special gift. Think a junior version of X-Men. Jacob takes a shine to one of them – Emma (Purnell) – which is reciprocated. But their romance can wait, as there are demons to be slayed and secrets to be solved.
While the effects do get a bit over-the-top in the second half, the period detailing, the artifacts, décor and setting is admittedly gorgeous. Jacob’s mannerisms might remind you a bit of Harry Potter, but Emma is utterly charming with feminine grace and a voice as sweet as honey. Her blonde curls add to the whole Goldilocks effect. Samuel L, as the bad guy (he’s known as a bad ‘peculiar’; the kind that Jacob’s grandpa tried unsuccessfully to eliminate), has more than a few kick-ass lines of dialogue, that are both funny and menacing at times. Jane Goldman’s screenplay (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class and Stardust) manages to mesh the various aspects of the film’s plot in a well-balanced way.
Essentially, this is everything – absolutely typical and more – that you’d expect from a Tim Burton-helmed film.