WHAT THE HELL?
I could start and end my review of this movie just with that phrase, but I’ll contain myself and actually give you an explanation. If you watched the adaptations of the Percy Jackson book series to the movies you know exactly why I am so desperately distressed by what they did to the Peculiars: the story from the book is not there at all. There were A LOT of changes, and not small ones that make you a bit angry, but the big ones that make a story almost unrecognizable.
The movie, directed by Tim Burton, tells the story of Jacob, a young boy who loves to hear his grandfather’s stories about peculiar children with special powers and the home he shared with them during his younger years. That is, until he grows up and discovers that they were all lies. Or were they?
After losing his grandfather to an animal attack, Jake becomes very distressed and starts seeing things that aren’t really there. To try and treat this, his therapist encourages him to go to the place where his grandfather lived during his childhood with the special children he talked about, believing that by going there Jake will learn to separate imagination from reality. Upon his arrival, the true adventure starts.
The differences start with the character’s abilities. All wrong. Their ages are wrong, the events of the day of the loop are wrong, the look of the villains is wrong, … everything you can possibly imagine from the book, is different in the movie.
I can’t tell you if I would’ve liked it or not if I didn’t read the book beforehand, but I think the villains would have looked bad – as well as the ending – no matter what.
I had a very intense argument with some of my friends about all these changes, and I think what bothered me the most is that I couldn’t get to a satisfactory conclusion as to why so many changes were made. They don’t help with character development, doesn’t look like they made the production any cheaper, the story is actually less interesting like this… The only thing that would make sense is if the producers wanted to make something more attractive to younger children (?) which, in my opinion, still doesn’t make a lot of sense.
To be honest I didn’t even bother researching about what the repercussion for this movie was like, or what Burton had to say about all this because it won’t change the fact that it made the whole adaptation worse, and I won’t change my mind about this no matter what apologies come my way. Jane Goldman was the screenwriter for this atrocity, which is also very disturbing since she’s the same woman who worked on Kingsman, which is one of my favorite movies from last year specially for the great screenplay (and direction, and VFX, and a bunch of other stuff).
Well, there’s that. At least I can say that Asa Butterfield did an awesome job as the lead actor. He’s usually pretty good, I always loved watching him perform, he’s such a natural… Also, Judi Dench and Terence Stamp are in there playing Abe and Miss Avocet which made everything a little better.
If you’re a small kid and you want to watch something cool, or if you know a kid who might enjoy seeing a lot of wonderful stuff then you should definitely hit the theater. Of not, I’d say just save your money. The movie will soon be out on Netflix probably and then you can kill your curiosity and take a look at it, but not for now. I’m giving it a 45, just because there are actually really good VFX, acting and overall care for the look of the movie. If the story was any better I’d go much higher. It’s a shame.