Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway
AnonymousJune 11, 2021 at 10:20 AM
The bunnies are fluffy, the produce is bountiful, and the antics are consistently lively in “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway.” And yet it’s hard to escape the feeling that Will Gluck’s follow-up to 2018’s “Peter Rabbit” is straining to capture the fast-paced, meta whimsy of the original while also cramming in a whole bunch of new characters and themes. The result feels bogged down, albeit with sporadic moments of playful inspiration.
This live-action, CG-animated adventure once again looks spectacular, though, with the high-tech, talking creatures integrated seamlessly into the film’s twee English location. You truly feel as if you could reach out and touch Peter’s furry head and give him a little pet—if you’d want to, that is. The script from director Gluck and Patrick Burleigh, inspired by the beloved Beatrix Potter children’s book series, pushes Peter’s impishness into territory that’s more obnoxious, supposedly for the purpose of learning life lessons about … not selling out?
That’s one of the troubling through-lines here: an awareness of commercializing these characters by taking them from their traditional, quiet setting and placing them in a zanier, contemporary one while also making fun of that choice. Rose Byrne’s character—named Bea, in case you couldn’t figure out the connection—is now the author of a sweet, illustrated book about Peter and his animal friends, with plans for a 23-book series, the same number Potter produced. As Bea finds herself succumbing to the thrills of fame and success, one of the rabbits remarks that the whole
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